Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are preventable infections that occur when patients seek medical care for a health condition. They affect five to ten percent of hospitalized patients, causing nearly two million infections, 90,000 deaths, and cost $4.5 to $5.7 billion each year nationally. HAIs are the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. In recent months, hospital infection rates have come under much scrutiny in the national and local media. Consumers are concerned about their risks for infection when selecting a healthcare facility for their needs.
Boone County Hospital (BCH) has agreed to participate in a statewide initiative to reduce, prevent, and eventually eliminate the burden of HAIs to Iowans. This program, titled “Building and Sustaining Programs to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Iowa” is managed through the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and will run from 2010 to 2012. Infection Control will collect and report data on specific infections during the first year of the program, and then during the second year of the program will focus on implementing prevention collaboratives as directed by IDPH.
To see Iowa’s plan for HAI prevention, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/hai_prevention/plan.asp.
If you ever have any concerns or suggestions about infection prevention or environmental cleanliness at BCH, please contact Infection Control at 433-8283. You are welcome to leave an anonymous message.