Information about Healthcare-associated Infections

  • Routine care (hands, equipment)
  • Surgery
  • Ventilators, catheters, central lines and other medical devices
  • Overuse of antibiotics

Infection Prevention in Hospitals: The Target is ZERO

While some HAIs will continue to occur, many are preventable.

In recent years, researchers and health care professional groups have developed improved infection prevention guidelines and "best practices." Health Care teams that have adopted these standards have been very successful in reducing their HAI rates. Consequently, many other hospitals are now training staff to follow the procedures.

Many national leaders in health care infection prevention are encouraging hospitals to work toward ZERO infections. For this to happen, top level hospital leaders must support and commit the resources needed to implement and monitor evidence-based prevention practices, measure progress, and ensure public reporting and transparency.

Research shows that when health care facilities are aware of their infection issues and implement concrete strategies to prevent them, rates of certain hospital infections can be decreased by more than 70 percent. In fact, the CDC's National Health Care Safety Network (NHSN) infection rate data is already showing a decline in HAI rates thanks to increased prevention efforts and monitoring of infection rates.

Increasingly, state and federal governments are also promoting HAI prevention in health care facilities. Like DHEC, some are tracking changes in HAI rates to measure progress toward HAI elimination. DHEC is also working with a public-private partnership of health care professionals, state agencies and health care associations to promote better infection control.

Learn what YOU can do to reduce your infection risks and what hospitals can do to prevent infections.