Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hospital Acquired Infections and Hospital Readmissions

Zero infections? Not likely.
Here is a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and a related article in Infection Control Today of the impact of hospital acquired infections on hospital readmission. 

Using multivariable modeling on a retrospective cohort of patients in a tertiary-care, academic hospital over a 7 year time frame, the investigators demonstrated that a positive clinical culture for MRSA,VRE or C.difficile 48 hours after admission (hospital acquired infection) was a associated with a 40% increased risk of hospital readmission.

This adds to the body of literature on the relevance and impact of hospital acquired infections. Additionally, this supports the rallying call for evidence based infection prevention efforts. However, a word of caution is in order. Not all hospital acquired infections are preventable.The goal of zero infections may not (yet) be attainable. If you are skeptical, read on here, from the research committee of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. In brief, knowledge gaps exists in pathogenesis, epidemiology, and infection prevention strategies. These are not insignificant.

Expectations must be realistic.

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