As economic woes continue to plague U.S. hospitals, one of the areas seeing the deepest cutbacks is infection prevention. Leading epidemiologists point out that these budget cuts could become detrimental to both patient care and the financial health of hospitals.
According to a recent APIC survey of 2,000 hospital infection preventionists, 41 percent of respondents have experienced budget cuts within the last 18 months.
Infection preventionists are instrumental in reducing HAIs among inpatients. They survey infection rates, educate hospital staff on new and emerging infections and implement methods of infection prevention. A reduction in staff infection preventionists could lead to greater HAI rates, more deaths and mounting costs.