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Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Analysis

Problem statement

With the increased technological advancement today, there is increased use of different invasive devices and procedures in modern healthcare for treatment and to hasten recovery. As a result, the chances of developing infections associated with the devices increase, especially for patients with underlying health conditions like diabetes.


HAIs are infections that patients develop during their treatment period within the healthcare facility they are receiving treatment. It may occur during surgery or as a patient receives other treatments within the healthcare facility (Haque, Sartelli, McKimm, & Bakar, 2018). The three most common HAIs include “ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and central line-associated bloodstream infections.” Arguably, most of these infections develop from serious and most urgent antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Based on the facts, it is evident that HAIs are only prevalent in people with underlying health conditions, such as people with a weakened immune system or diabetes. However, it is also known to be a common condition among the frail and elderly. There is an annual report of 4% of cases of HAIs in the United States. The effects of HAIs are severe and can lead to death in severe cases and sepsis in minor cases.

Although the health issue has gradually decreased over the years, it drastically increased in the last two years due to the Covid-19 impact. Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic unprecedentedly challenges all aspects of human life, but more significantly, the healthcare system (Ghali, Cheikh, Bhiri, Khefacha, & Latiri, 2021). Initially, the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services” (CMS) permitted hospitals in the United States to minimize their surveillance activities and report the incidences of HAIs due to the increased hospitalization and shortages. However, data collected reveal that the number of hospital-acquired infections increased to a high of 47% in the last quarter of 2020, when the virus peaked.

The public health issue is also crucial because of the alarming infection rates and the budgetary burden it places on the American economy. According to the “U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC), 5% of all hospital admission results in HAI, equivalent to roughly 722000 overall infections annually (Ghali, Cheikh, Bhiri, Khefacha, & Latiri, 2021). Again, about seventy-five thousand patients die in the U.S. annually due to HAIs raising healthcare costs to twenty-eight and thirty-three billion dollars. Therefore, the issue needs attention to promote research and practices promoting patient health.

The landscape of the problem

Key stakeholders

The CDC is the most critical stakeholder needed in solving the problem. In particular, NHSN has been chiefly used globally to track incidences of HAI over the years. Every healthcare institution in the United States must adhere to the state and federal reporting requirements that the NHSN facilitates. As such, NHSNs can effortlessly monitor and prevent infections based on the data received. Another essential stakeholder is the CMS and state partners. They collaborate with CDC to encourage hospitals to continue reporting and use the data in a meaningful way. Other stakeholders include “CDC’s AR Patient Safety Atlas,” “CDC’s AR Threat Report,” and “HAI Progress Report.” They are relevant providers of public data and information trends that inform healthcare about evidence-based practices to control HAIs.

Key factors

HAI health issue is present due to factors like environment, process, equipment, and materials. However, there are other factors, like incidents that occur from more than one event. Equipment is essential in analyzing the HAI issue because many infections occur due to using modern technology devices. The issue also results from material factors like the medical substances used to treat underlying conditions. Another factor is the environment because the condition mainly surfaces in healthcare during the treatment process.

Options for action

While it is practically impossible to do away with HAIs, the U.S. healthcare system can design strategies that can help minimize the incidences to significant figures. For instance, the CDC and “National Healthcare Safety Network” (NHSN) should advise healthcare facilities to intensely focus on actionable NHSN data to drive change. According to research, the technique is proven effective in minimizing HAIs for states with CLABSI higher than the national baseline (Dall, 2021). Multiple studies have collected, verified, and acted upon hospital data for different facilities, types of infection, and causes of the infection. The data is then utilized to promote quality improvement regarding HAIs in healthcare.

It is worth noting that such an aggressive action can only be possible with strong partnerships between different healthcare authorities. Therefore, CDC needs to collaborate with the different stakeholders involved in the HAI health issue in the United States (Dall, 2021). For instance, a collaboration between state hospital associations, CMS-funded networks, and other local partners should come together to develop effective strategies to prevent HAI. For instance, the “Targeted Assessment for Prevention” (TAP) strategy has proved effective, as has been used for Tennessee. The strategy has the most significant benefit financially when used for facilities with incidences higher than the national baseline. Again, partnership pushed CDC to develop the antibiotic stewardship elements that prevent HAI among particular patients.

Alternatively, CDC, as the central authority, should develop innovative approaches to prevention. Unlike the others, the intervention’s primary goal is to persistently improve and develop advanced techniques to acquire maximum public health impact (Dall, 2021). Programs like “CDC’s Prevention Epicenter Program” and “Emerging Infections Program” identify and test updated infection prevention and control measures. The programs also identify gaps and strategies to achieve set goals. Eventually, CDC sets infectious control recommendations and stewardship that all healthcare personnel must adhere to in serving patients at increased risk of contracting HAIs.


Partnering is the most effective solution when it comes to controlling the spread of infections in hospitals. With the different stakeholders partnering, it is possible to estimate disease burden, but more importantly, assess the medical costs averted, reduction rate, and lives saved through appropriate techniques. Again, the effort of the different stakeholders helps generate the most solid solution because it ensures all aspects of the problem are tackled. Although actionable data can effectively manage HAIs, the option is not as effective as a partnership. Evidence-based practices have been used in the past, yet the infections still occurred and remained uncontrolled (Dall, 2021). Also, developing innovative approaches only works partly and for a season; hence it cannot be relied upon to improve healthcare and minimize incidences of HAIs.


Dall, C. (2021, September 2). Healthcare-associated infections rose in 2020, CDC says. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from CIDRAP(Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy):

Ghali, H., Cheikh, A. B., Bhiri , S., Khefacha, S., & Latiri, H. S. (2021). Trends of Healthcare-associated Infections in a Tuinisian University Hospital and Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic. Inquiry, 58. DOI: 10.1177/00469580211067930

Haque, M., Sartelli , M., McKimm, J., & Bakar, M. A. (2018). Healthcare-associated infections – an overview. Infectious Drug Resistance, 11, 2321-2333. DOI: 10.2147/IDR.S177247


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