Striving for Zero

The HAI Impact

The most recent HAI data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been encouraging, yet still alarming. The estimated number of HAIs is estimated to be between 187,000 to 2.7 million[1]! The majority of these infections are considered preventable[1]. Of the patients with an HAI, about 72,000 die each year during their hospitalization[1]. Striving for zero HAIs is a worthy goal, even if it seems like a longshot.

The societal and economic impact of HAIs is staggering[2]. Societal impacts include lost productivity and wages, premature death, medical malpractice and wrongful death settlements, and chronic morbidity. The economic impacts include longer lengths of stay at the hospital, readmission to the hospital, clinical resources, and additional treatments[2]. According to recent estimates from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality[3], the additional cost for select HAIS are:

CLABSI: $48,108 (range $27,232 to $68,983)
CAUTI: $13,793 (range $5,019 to $22,568)
VAP: $47,238 (range: $21,890 to $72,587)
Surgical Site Infections: $28,219 (range $18,237 to $38,202)
C. difficile Infections: $17,260 (range: $9,341 to $25,180)

For patients that experience an HAI, they may have emotional and physical distress adapting to life with an HAI, residual fears that healthcare personnel will be dismissive of their concerns, or uncertainty about the risk of transmitting infection to family members[4]. Patients and their families may have to cope with lost work time, wages, and hire additional help to assist with activities of daily living[4]. Patients with an HAI may experience strains on their relationships and have difficulty navigating social norms regarding the risk of infection or fear of contagion[4]. Clearly, HAIs not only have a financial impact, they also impact patients’ wellbeing.

The goal of Xenex is for every patient to be uninfected, or free from infection. We are the infection prevention Uninfection Company™.

uninfected adjective
un·​in·​fect·​ed | ən-in-ˈfek-təd
free from infection; not infected

Author: Deborah Passey, PhD, Clinical Scientist, Xenex Disinfection Services Inc.

Magill SS, O’Leary E, Janelle SJ, Thompson DL, Dumyati G, Nadle J, Wilson LE, Kainer MA, Lynfield R, Greissman S, Ray SM. Changes in prevalence of health care–associated infections in US Hospitals. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018 Nov 1;379(18):1732-44.
Marchetti A, Rossiter R. Economic burden of healthcare-associated infection in US acute care hospitals: societal perspective. Journal of medical economics. 2013 Dec 1;16(12):1399-404.
Estimating the Additional Hospital Inpatient Cost and Mortality Associated With Selected Hospital-Acquired Conditions. Content last reviewed November 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
Currie, K., Melone, L., Stewart, S., King, C., Holopainen, A., Clark, A. M., & Reilly, J. (2018). Understanding the patient experience of health care–associated infection: A qualitative systematic review. American Journal of Infection Control.

Credit Kim Manganello