Five of the most common, costly, and preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) cost the United States nearly $10 billion per year, according to a meta-analysis of 27 years' worth of data by a team from Harvard Medical School and affiliated institutions.
The team reviewed data spanning 1986 to 2013 concerning surgical site infections (SSIs), central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs), according to their report, released yesterday by JAMA Internal Medicine.
For HAI incidence estimates, the investigators used the National Healthcare Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which includes 1,700 reporting sites. By conducting a systematic literature review, the team found 26 studies that provided "reasonably robust" estimates of attributable costs and/or length of stay for HAIs.
The overall cost of the HAIs was estimated at $9.8 billion annually. On a per-case basis, CLABSIs were found to be the most expensive HAI at $45,814 each, followed by VAP, $40,144; SSIs, $20,785; CDIs, $11,285; and CAUTIs, $896, the report says.
SSIs, however, accounted for the largest share of costs, at 33.7%. The second largest contributor was VAP, at 31.6%, followed by CLABSIs, 18.9%; CDIs, 15.4%; and CAUTIs, less than 1%.
"While quality improvement initiatives have decreased HAI...
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