Infection Prevention Quality Metrics
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Healthcare-associated infections cause patient suffering and excess healthcare costs. Infection prevention quality metrics are designed to reduce rates of healthcare-associated infections. Thanks to early pioneers in the field and solidified by evidence, infection prevention has transformed from a movement to a mandate. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) National Action Plan seeks to improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs by eliminating healthcare-associated infections. It sets goals for the reduction of central line–associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, specific surgical site infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, and infections caused by Clostridioides difficile. Process and outcome measure data related to infections in acute care are provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via patient safety modules housed within the National Health and Safety Network, which in turn provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data intended to identify problem areas and measure the progress of prevention efforts to drive change. In addition to efforts to reduce the incidence of infection, diagnostic stewardship (limiting testing to patients suspected of having true infections) is critical to a successful infection prevention program. Healthcare-associated infection metrics are designed to reflect as accurately as possible the rates of infections acquired by hospitalized patients. Definitions are complex, and the administrative burden is significant. Successful performance improvement requires systems-focused interventions with forced functions.
KeywordsHealthcare-associated infections Hospital-acquired infections Nosocomial infections Central line–associated bloodstream infections Catheter-associated urinary tract infections Clostridium difficile infection Clostridioides difficile infection Infection prevention Infection control Hospital epidemiology MRSA MRSA bacteremia Surgical site infection
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