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Washington Highlights

HHS Announces Updated HAI Action Plan

April 27, 2012—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) April 23 released an updated healthcare-associated infections (HAI) plan for public comment in the Federal Register. The updated plan builds upon HHS’s first HAI report [see Washington Highlights, Jan 9, 2009]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) have already declined 33 percent, surgical site infections (SSI) have decreased 10 percent, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) have been reduced by 7 percent since the original baselines were set. A CDC report on the state-by-state breakdown of HAIs is available on the CDC website.

The HAI action plan is divided into three phases: the first phase focuses on reducing HAIs in hospitals. Phase two focuses on ambulatory surgical settings, end-stage renal disease facilities, and the influenza vaccination of health care personnel. Phase three, starting this summer, will concentrate on long-term care facilities.

The action plan contains nine goals including reducing bloodstream infections by 50 percent, reducing urinary tract infections by 25 percent, and reducing surgical site infections by 25 percent. The plan also calls for 100 percent adherence to central line insertion practices and 95 percent adherence to surgical SCIP measures.

The HAI action plan aligns with HHS’s Partnership for Patients initiative, which aims to reduce preventable hospital acquired conditions by 40 percent [see Washington Highlights, April 15, 2011]. The initiative also aims to reduce incidences of CAUTI, CLABSI, SSI, and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). However, unlike the HAI action plan, the Partnership for Patients focuses primarily on acute care settings.


Scott Wetzel, M.P.P.
Lead, Quality Reporting
Telephone: 202-828-0495


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806