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Practical steps to reduce HAIs

A new report has shared 13 practical ways to reduce the number of healthcare associated infections in both public and private hospitals.

The report, published by the US Department of Health, set the action plan following their HAI Data Summit in 2012, and while meant primarily for US stakeholders, identifies a number of strategies that can help reduce HAIs worldwide.

Each item has been categorised into relationships and communication, common threads and standards, data sharing, reporting, resources and education. The list below gives an idea of the advice offered, generalised for a worldwide audience, alternatively you can read the full summit summary.

Relationships and communication

• Hold regular meetings to clarify the vision of an HAI prevention action plan
• Ensure that smaller facilities, especially those in remote areas, are visited regularly and kept to high standards

Common threads and standards

• Ensuring healthcare managers are aware of the minimum standards for reducing HAIs in their region
• Identify a minimum requirement for number of infection prevention professionals per facility, relevant to number of beds

Data sharing

• Lobby for amendments to data sharing regulations so different facilities have access
• Hold forums and share data to ensure transparency across the sector


• Require hospital data as well as aggregate data to be reported
• Make it clear and accessible to patients/consumers
• Consider different formats dependent on audiences


• Channel funding to execute the action plan through state health departments
• Provide guidance to administrators on required resources to meet targets


• Provide adequate training to healthcare professionals on preventative measures to reduce HAIs
• Where possible, also provide training for the public so that they are able to understand the patients role


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