Practice Gap and Educational Need
According to the CDC, approximately 1.6 million people develop hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)
in US hospitals each year. HAIs are associated with a high degree of morbidity and
mortality (nearly 100,000 annual deaths), prolonged length of stay, and a staggering $5.7
billion in healthcare costs.
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in Hospitals: Rising cost of healthcare has led to
demand for quality and safety improvements and increased accountability and transparency. Mandatory
reporting of HAIs, non-payment for hospital-acquired conditions, “never events”, and value-based
purchasing (P4P, or pay for performance) are accompanied by a lack of guidance on how hospitals
can reduce the rate of HAIs. Appropriate management of HAIs, based on stewardship principles, has
therefore become even more critical in improving the quality of care and ensuring patient safety.
Pharmacist’s Role: The current healthcare environment has led to the increased importance of the
interdisciplinary healthcare team—physicians and pharmacists—caring for and managing patients with
or at risk of HAIs. Specific to HAIs, pharmacists are being asked to lead management efforts
partnering with physicians and contributing to the decision-making process to ensure quality of
care and patient safety.
“Zero Tolerance for HAIs: Pharmacists Take the Next Step Towards Quality Improvement and
Patient Safety”, an application-based Initiative, has been developed for health-system pharmacists
involved in the prevention of and management of patients with HAIs.
At the conclusion of this application-based “Zero Tolerance for HAIs: Pharmacists Take the Next Step
Towards Quality Improvement and Patient Safety” Initiative, health-system pharmacists will be able to:
- Describe the prevalence and impact of bacterial resistance in HAIs
- Evaluate antimicrobial dosing strategies that minimize resistance
development and achieve optimal outcomes
- Recognize how health-system pharmacists can play an active role in
quality improvement and patient safety with respect to the management of patients with HAIs