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To estimate the proportion of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in US hospitals that are “reasonably preventable,” along with their related mortality and costs.
To estimate preventability of catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), surgical site infections (SSIs), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), we used a federally sponsored systematic review of interventions to reduce HAIs. Ranges of preventability included the lowest and highest risk reductions reported by US studies of “moderate” to “good” quality published in the last 10 years. We used the most recently published national data to determine the annual incidence of HAIs and associated mortality. To estimate incremental cost of HAIs, we performed a systematic review, which included costs from studies in general US patient populations. To calculate ranges for the annual number of preventable infections and deaths and annual costs, we multiplied our infection, mortality, and cost figures with our ranges of preventability for each HAI.
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. CAUTI may be the most preventable HAI. CABSI has the highest number of preventable deaths, followed by VAP. CABSI also has the highest cost impact; costs due to preventable cases of VAP, CAUTI, and SSI are likely less.
Our findings suggest that 100% prevention of HAIs may not be attainable with current evidence-based prevention strategies; however, comprehensive implementation of such strategies could prevent hundreds of thousands of HAIs and save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
To compare use of chlorhexidine with use of iodine for preoperative skin antisepsis with respect to effectiveness in preventing surgical site infections (SSIs) and cost.
We searched the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website, the Cochrane Library, Medline, and EMBASE up to January 2010 for eligible studies. Included studies were systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing preoperative skin antisepsis with chlorhexidine and with iodine and assessing for the outcomes of SSI or positive skin culture result after application. One reviewer extracted data and assessed individual study quality, quality of evidence for each outcome, and publication bias. Meta-analyses were performed using a fixed-effects model. Using results from the meta-analysis and cost data from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, we developed a decision analytic cost-benefit model to compare the economic value, from the hospital perspective, of antisepsis with iodine versus antisepsis with 2 preparations of chlorhexidine (ie, 4% chlorhexidine bottle and single-use applicators of a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG] and 70% isopropyl alcohol [IPA] solution), and also performed sensitivity analyses.
Nine RCTs with a total of 3,614 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis revealed that chlorhexidine antisepsis was associated with significantly fewer SSIs (adjusted risk ratio, 0.64 [95% confidence interval, [0.51–0.80]) and positive skin culture results (adjusted risk ratio, 0.44 [95% confidence interval, 0.35–0.56]) than was iodine antisepsis. In the cost-benefit model baseline scenario, switching from iodine to chlorhexidine resulted in a net cost savings of $16-$26 per surgical case and $349,904–$568,594 per year for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Sensitivity analyses showed that net cost savings persisted under most circumstances.
Preoperative skin antisepsis with chlorhexidine is more effective than preoperative skin antisepsis with iodine for preventing SSI and results in cost savings.