HAI 101 - Healthcare Acquired Infections

Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs), also called nosocomial infections, are infections that first appear between 48 hours and four days after a patient is admitted to a hospital or other health care facility. They include urinary tract, surgical site, lung and bloodstream infections.

Despite the steps taken to reduce HAIs, they still remain one of the world's leading and most costly healthcare challenges. Most are preventable. All are extremely costly in human and financial terms.

The Human Cost of HAIs
Each year, nearly 2 million1 patients in the U.S. acquire an infection while in a healthcare setting, and nearly 100,0002 die as a result. It's also estimated that 70% of HAI-causing bacteria are drug-resistant.

The Financial Cost of HAIs
Hospital stays for patients who acquire a healthcare related infection increase an average of 7-10 days, at an incremental treatment cost of over $30,000 per patient3. The total annual cost to the healthcare industry totals nearly $45 billion4—again, much of which is preventable.

New insurance coverage regulations from CMS and insurance companies will eliminate reimbursement for HAIs deemed preventable. Which is why it's more critical than ever to reduce their occurrence. And why you need a more complete solution to this growing problem.

So how can you prevent HAIs in the first place?

1,2 R. Monina Klevens, DDS, MPH, et al; Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002; Public Health Reports, March-April 2007

3,4 R. Douglas Scott II, Economist Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Direct Medical Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention, March 2009