Hospital Acquired Conditions Decreasing

Donna White

Donna White

By Donna White, Principal Consultant and Owner of Legacy Consulting Services and Legacy Billing Solutions in Montgomery, Alabama.

A recent report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows a significant decrease in Hospital Acquired Conditions or HAC’s.

Some of the most common HAC’s are catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTI’s), pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, and adverse drug events.

According to the study, HAC’s dropped 13% from 2014 to 2017.
“The 2014 rate started at 99 HAC’s per 1,000 hospital discharges and is estimated at 86 HAC’s per 1,000 discharges for 2017.”

Per the report, all categories have seen reductions over the reporting period except Pressure Ulcers or Pressure Injuries, better known colloquially as bedsores. The most significant reduction has been in Clostridioides difficile Infections, or a specific infection acquired during hospital stays.

This initiative started with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS. Their goal is to reduce HAC’s by 20% between 2014 and 2019. If this goal is met, it would reduce HAC’s by 1.8 million over 5 years. This could save over 50,000 lives and $19.1 billion in hospital costs.

While these are significant strides, there is still a fundamental lack of incoming data to help pinpoint and develop a root cause analysis to prevent HAC’s. Similarly, patients often make uninformed choices about their healthcare due to a lack of available or accurate information.

Future goals include an increased focus on data measurement tools which will eventually lead to improved patient safety initiatives at the point of care.


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