VHA program fights hospital-acquired infections

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) kill 90,000 U.S. patients per year, generate billions in expenses and greatly prolong hospital stays. Luckily, they're also avoidable. Well aware of the problem, the Voluntary Hospital Association said this week that it was launching a three-year program aimed at reducing the rate of HAIs among its member hospitals. The program will focus on six key approaches to HAI reduction:

  • Preventing central line infections
  • Preventing surgical site infections
  • Preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Improving hand hygiene, isolation and barrier precautions
  • Implementing active surveillance methods
  • Making behavior, cultural and organizational changes

As part of these efforts, the VHA is pulling together regional hospital groups fostering peer communication, sharing of best practices and performance benchmarking. VHA has already launched a collaborative group dedicated to fighting MRSA infections; future improvement groups will focus on ICU outcomes improvement, operating room process improvement, surgical site infection prevention and catheter-related blood stream infection prevention.

For more information on the HAI reduction program:
- read the group's release

Related Articles:
- PA first to report hospital-specific HAI rates. Article
- Study: Disinfectant cuts down on MRSA infections. Article