This week is International Infection Prevention Week. Infection prevention is especially important in health care settings, as nearly one-in-25 hospital patients suffers at least one health-care-associated infection, and 75,000 patients will die this year from an infection while hospitalized. Additionally, these infections cost the health care system between $97 billion and $147 billion each year.
You can participate this week by thanking your infection control team for the work they do. Without your dedicated teams, there would be more unanticipated infections that develop during medical or surgical treatment. These infections may result in preventable patient illnesses and deaths, prolong the duration of hospital stays, and necessitate additional diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, generating added cost.
This year’s theme is “Protecting Patients Everywhere.” The event provides a focus for an entire health care organization to highlight infection prevention and its impact. The prevention and reduction of health-care-associated infections are top priorities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, visit the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s website and the Premier Safety Institute’s website. (Sandra Assasnik)