Monday, November 26, 2012

Zero Infections in Healthcare- Revisited

I spent much of the weekend updating a lecture of infection prevention. The theme of 'zero' healthcare infections is one of the themes covered in the lecture.

Can all healthcare associated infections be prevented? This is a controversial subject and the current data suggest that the goal of zero infections is illusory. Here is a an important paper published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology on estimating the proportion of healthcare associated infections that are reasonably preventable. As many as 65%-70% of cases of CABSI and CAUTI and 55% of cases of VAP and SSI may be preventable with current evidence-based strategies.

In my opinion the state of infection prevention science is not robust enough to prevent all infections. The goal should be to fully and consistently implement evidence based infection prevention best practices to maximally reduce infection risk. 

For a scholarly perspective on 'Getting to Zero,' I refer you to this publication by my friend and colleague Dr. Michael Edmond.

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