Can a Reduction in Hospital Acquired Infections Cut Health Care Costs?

Jul 7, 2009, 1:56 AM, Posted by Ari Kramer

There is no denying that hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are an expensive drain on the system and impact the lives of an estimated 1.7 million hospital patients a year – killing nearly 99,000 annually. Is it possible that simply instituting best practices in infection control can substantially reduce these infections and save the nation’s healthcare system billions of dollars a year?  Yes, according to an article in last week’s Roll Call by Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Extending the Cure initiative, a Pioneer grantee, and Ed Septimus from HCA Healthcare System.  Laxminarayan and Septimus propose several ideas and incentives, which they believe will reduce the rate of resistant HAIs and control the rise of antibiotic resistance. 

Are hospital acquired infections really the low hanging fruit that will benefit patients and cut health care costs?  Check out the article and then come back here and let us know what you think.   

 

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.