Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are illnesses caused by germs encountered while in a healthcare setting, such as an inpatient acute care hospital, ambulatory surgical center, dialysis center, nursing home, or rehabilitation center.
There are several proven factors that contribute to the risk of getting an HAI, including:
- Use and maintenance of medical devices, such as catheters and ventilators.
- Complications following surgical procedures.
- Transmission between patients and health care workers.
HAIs can be devastating and sometimes deadly. As a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, HAIs have had a drastic impact not only on the patients and families affected but also on healthcare costs. Reports show that HAIs:
- Are one of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S.
- Are the most common complication of hospital care.
- Result in 1.7 million infections each year. (Four to five HAIs for every 100 admissions.)
- Result in an added financial burden estimated to be between $25 billion and $45 billion each year.
However, research has found that when certain measures are put into place, HAIs can be completely prevented. Through our partnership with the nationwide effort to eliminate HAIs, IPRO has provided more information about HAIs and prevention efforts here. Please click one of the links below, or in the sidebar to the right or at the top of this page.