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Healthcare Associated Infections: We've Come a Long Way But We Aren't There Yet

By CME Corp Staff | May 22, 2023

By a show of hands who has had or knows someone who has had a legal medical procedure, performed in recent memory, without sterile instruments, in an unhygienic environment, in the United States.

That’s what we thought.

We’ve come a long way from the days when “a man laid on the operating table of one of our surgical hospitals is more exposed to more chance of death than was the English soldier on the field of Waterloo” (Sir James Young Simpson, Surgeon and Professor of Medicine and Midwifery (1860s)).1

But we aren’t there yet. 

Despite a $987M and growing market for surface disinfectants, 1 out of every 25 hospitalized patients are affected by a healthcare-associated infection (HAI).

That’s 1.7M infections each year.

$12.4B in costs to society from early deaths and lost productivity.

And a whopping $28.4B in direct medical costs to the hospitals, according to the CDC.2


On a Positive Note

On a positive note, Studies have shown that proper education and training of health care workers increases compliance with and adoption of best practices (e.g., infection control, surface disinfection, hand hygiene, attention to safety culture, and antibiotic stewardship) to prevent HAIs,” according to the US Dept of Health and Human Services2. In the updated Healthy People 2020 Initiative, Healthy People 2030 continues to focus on ways to prevent, reduce and ultimately eliminate HAIs.

In addition to education and training, according to the CDC, there are several infection prevention practices that go a long way to reducing if not eliminating HAIs. They are:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Injection and medication safety
  • Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gowns, face masks)
  • Minimizing Potential Exposures (e.g., respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette)
  • Reprocessing of reusable medical equipment between each patient or when soiled

These ” standard precautions are the basic practices that apply to all patient care, regardless of the patient’s suspected or confirmed infectious state, and apply to all settings where care is delivered. These practices protect healthcare personnel and prevent healthcare personnel or the environment from transmitting infections to other patients.3


Doing Your Part

How better to implement the use of PPE than to provide glove and mask dispensers at every turn in healthcare facilities. Or, contribute to “environmental cleaning and disinfection” by using equipment with silver ion antimicrobial additives embedded in the paint to help minimize HAIs by keeping surfaces cleaner between sanitizations. Sterilizers are a must have to ” reprocess reusable medical equipment between each patient or when soiled”. The list goes on.


The Takeaway

Eliminating HAIs, it can be done. Look how far we’ve come since the early days of healthcare.

Now it’s time to go the distance together. CME’s equipment specialists are here to help you choose the best products to combat HAIs, promote efficiency, and champion safety, all at the best prices.

More On HAI:





1. https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/objects-and-stories/medicine/listers-antisepsis-system#:~:text=Antisepsis%20is%20the%20method%20of,wounds%20during%20and%20after%20surgery
2. https://repertoiremag.com/surface-disinfection-by-the-numbers.html
3. hhttps://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/core-practices/index.html

About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipment, turnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers. With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.

For more information about our products or services, please contact your local CME account manager, visit our website at www.cmecorp.com, or call us at 800-338-2372.

CME Corp Hospital Systems/IDNs HAI Antimicrobial

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