CDC will study HAI prevalence, antimicrobial use

For the first time since the 1980s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to conduct two surveys to obtain national estimates of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevalence and antimicrobial use in U.S. hospitals, as well as estimating the distribution of infection types, causative organisms, and nature of and rationale for antimicrobial use, according to the January 27 Federal Register.

The goal is "to assess the magnitude and types of HAIs and antimicrobial use occurring in all patient populations within acute-care hospitals in order to inform decisions made by local and national policy makers and hospital infection control personnel regarding appropriate targets and strategies for preventing HAIs and the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and encouraging appropriate antimicrobial use," says the CDC.

While the CDC currently has an HAI surveillance system--the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)--its focus is device-associated and procedure-associated infections in multiple patient locations. In addition, the NHSN doesn't collect data on all HAI types to make hospital-wide burden estimates.

The first survey will be conducted in a single day at 30 facilities in 10 states. This study will collect limited demographic and clinical information on a sample of eligible inpatients, as well as information on HAIs and antimicrobial use for surveyed patients on antimicrobial therapy at survey time. The second survey, using the same methodology, will involve 500 facilities in the same 10 states.

To learn more about the CDC's plan or to make public comments:
- read the proposal