CDC awards $10M grant to combat hospital-acquired infections

Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania are among five medical centers to receive $10 million to develop and test new ways to reduce hospital-acquired infections. The funding comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its Prevention Epicenters Program.

Some of the innovative strategies to be tested include combining bleach and ultraviolet light to clean hospital rooms; new tests that help distinguish patients who need antibiotics from those who don't; methods that can help doctors anticipate when medical devices may cause an infection; and using living microorganisms to combat harmful germs.

New strategies to detect and reduce HIAs have become more imperative, as roughly one in 20 hospitalized patients acquires an infection during their medical treatment, notes the Hill's Healthwatch.

"The Prevention Epicenter program discovers solutions and refines them so they can work to prevent infections for all healthcare settings," Dr. John Jernigan, director of CDC's Office of HAI Prevention Research and Evaluation, said in a March 14 statement. "During the past decade, some of our biggest breakthroughs in healthcare infection prevention have been rooted in research of the Prevention Epicenter program, and we look forward to future advances."

This year's recipients include Duke University; Cook County Health & Hospital System and Rush University Medical Center; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; University of Pennsylvania; and Washington University. Washington University has been part of the CDC's Prevention Epicenter grant program since its formation in 1997.

For more information:
- here's the CDC press release
- read the Hill's Healthwatch blog post
- check out the News Medical article