National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination 2003


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I am pleased to share the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination (HAI Action Plan). Health care-associated infections (HAI) are a serious national health issue. At any given time, one in 20 hospitalized patients has an HAI, and more than one million HAIs occur every year, costing the U.S. health care system billions of dollars. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) encourages HAI reductions by engaging public and private sector stakeholders. The HAI Action Plan reflects a significant update and expansion from the initial version issued in 2009. It includes new sections specific to infection reduction in ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, and long-term care facilities, as well as a section on increasing influenza vaccination of health care personnel. The HAI Action Plan reflects the work of many offices across HHS and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The plan also reflects input from national experts and stakeholder organizations. Achieving the highest quality health care at an affordable cost is a complex endeavor. It requires providers, health care organizations, governments, the public health community, patients, and their loved ones to collaborate and support each other’s actions to realize our shared mission of being the healthiest society we can be. Patients across the nation depend on our efforts to prevent and eventually eliminate HAIs. The HAI Action Plan is critical to our overall mission to strengthen health systems by improving health-care quality and patient safety. Recently, we have seen significant investments in the essential strategies and infrastructure needed to reduce the HAI burden. My vision is to contribute to an even stronger, healthier, and more prosperous America for years to come. The National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination will help to achieve that vision.

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