Healthcare-Associated Infections Update from Health and Human Services

By on 8:47 AM

In 2009, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), released a plan called the "National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination" (HAI Action Plan). The action plan addressed acute care, ambulatory surgery centers, end-stage renal disease facilities and long-term care. In 2013, the HAI Action Plan went through a substantial update, and included a section for increasing influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel.

This week, the ODPHP announced "ambitious new targets for the national acute-care hospital metrics" for the HAI Action Plan. It used 2015 data as a baseline to replace targets that expired in 2013. The goal for these measures is to primarily track HAIs at a national level.

The measures include the following goals:

There are a few other important developments associated with this update:
  • ODPHP eliminated the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) process measure due to major compliance and widely accepted practice.
  • Antibiotic stewardship is gaining major momentum, with HHS developing an "Agency Priority Goal" for combating antibiotic resistant bacteria. 

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) is a national provider of healthcare infection control consulting services to a wide range of facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient care facilities, dentists and nursing homes. Services include development of comprehensive, compliant infection prevention programs; infection prevention risk assessment; accreditation and CMS survey preparation; and infection education.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.