Health care-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a risk to patients and health care facilities. Estimates indicate that 240,000 patients admitted to California hospitals annually develop HAIs, contributing to the suffering associated with illness and increasing costs to the health care system by approximately $3.1 billion. Literature suggests that a significant proportion of HAIs can be eliminated with intensive surveillance and prevention programs. CHA supports decreasing the number of HAIs through a deliberate and systematic approach that addresses infection-control program infrastructure and oversight. CHA also supports the public reporting of meaningful, scientifically valid information related to HAIs. The most prevalent HAIs (approximately 80 percent) are urinary tract infections, surgical-site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and central-line blood stream infections.
The HAI Advisory Committee - created by SB 739 (Chapter 526, Statutes of 2006) — recommends methods for preventing and reporting HAIs to the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has notified California health care facilities of updated information regarding the novel coronavirus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To date, no cases of MERS-CoV have been identified in the U.S.; however, health care facilities are still encouraged to ensure infection control policies are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s MERS-CoV guidance. The attached CDPH All Facilities Letter (AFL 13-23) includes updates on the incubation period, surveillance, patient evaluation, infection control and laboratory precautions to prevent transmission.