Nosocomial And Healthcare Associated Infection Essay

Nosocomial And Healthcare Associated Infection Essay

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Nosocomial or healthcare-associated infection (HAI) occurs when a patient receiving treatment in a health care setting develops an infection secondary to their original condition. These infections are serious and costly adverse outcomes of medical care that affect nearly two million people in the United States annually and lead to substantial morbidity and mortality. With increased days of hospitalization and direct medical costs, HAIs account for an estimated $20 billion per year in national health care expenditure every year. As such, they present one of the major threats to patient safety and remain a critical challenge to public health. On any given day, approximately [one in 25 patients] contracts at least one infection while receiving healthcare treatment in U.S. hospitals, demonstrating the need for improved infection control in health care facilities. Since these infections are largely avoidable, high HAI rates are a marker of poor quality care. Preventing HAI is a leading health priority for health care facilities and for the [public / nation / community], as organizations search for ways to reduce costs and to improve their quality ratings.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, publicly reported hospital-specific HAI rates are also being more widely utilized to monitor hospital quality of care, and many organizations, legislators, and individuals are demanding that / there is increasing demand for healthcare facilities to publicly disclose information on HAIs. The debate over public disclosure often pits consumers, insurance carriers, and health maintenance organizations (the payers) against healthcare providers. The payers want performance data made available so that they can be better purchasers ...


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...tion prevention interventions to improve [HAI] rates, [they] do not teach facilities how to reduce rates. [Nevertheless,] data show that public reporting positively affects rates of these preventable infections, when combined with enhanced preventive practices, recommended surveillance activities, and fair reimbursement policies (among other factors). [Thus, healthcare organizations] need both motivation and facilitation to reach consumer expectations for infection prevention.
The rationale behind publicly disclosing health outcome data is to promote transparency, enhance trust, and spur healthcare organizations to motivate internal change, effect best practices, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. Mandatory standards, monitoring and public reporting of infection rates are necessary to understand and tackle HAIs, in order to make sustained elimination a reality.

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