HAIs are infections that patients get while receiving
treatment for medical or surgical conditions. They are among
the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world and
are associated with a substantial increase in health care
costs each year.
HAIs occur in all types of care settings, including:
• Acute care within hospitals
• Same-day surgical centers
• Ambulatory outpatient care in health care clinics
• Long-term care facilities (e.g., nursing homes and
In hospitals, HAIs lead to extended hospital stays,
contribute to increased medical costs, and are a significant
cause of morbidity and mortality.
Why Are Healthcare-Associated Infections Important?
HAIs are the most common complication of hospital
care. However, recent studies suggest that implementing
existing prevention practices can lead to up to a 70 percent
reduction in certain HAIs. The financial benefit of using
these prevention practices is estimated to be $25.0 billion
to $31.5 billion in medical cost savings. ” Scott RD. The
direct medical costs of healthcare-associated infections in
US hospitals and the benefits of prevention. Atlanta:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2009”