Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. HAIs are an infection that develops during, or soon after, receiving a healthcare service or from being in a healthcare setting (e.g., hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, surgery center, nursing home, or home-care visits by a health professional)1. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria or fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them1. Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics)2. Examples of HAI, AMR, and AMS activities or initiatives include implementing infection prevention and control efforts, improving the use of antibiotics, identifying antibiotic-resistant infections, and reducing the transmission of resistant organisms. Antimicrobial Resistance is an urgent global public health threat, killing at least 1.27 million people worldwide and associated with nearly 5 million deaths in 2019. In the U.S., more than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur each year. More than 35,000 people die as a result, according to CDC’s 2019 Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Threats Report3. CDC estimates that one in 25 hospital patients is infected with at least one HAI4.
HAIs and AMR are a threat to patients, and subsequently, public health safety. Rural, Frontier, and Small LHDs face distinct barriers and can provide leadership in surveillance, outbreak investigations, and prevention by collaborating with healthcare and community partners. The development and implementation of an AMS plan can also improve antibiotic prescribing and use to effectively treat infections, protect patients from unnecessary antibiotic use, and combat antibiotic resistance.
Understanding this growing threat and the challenges faced by Rural, Frontier, and Small LHDs, in April 2022, NACCHO and Health Communications Consultants, Inc. conducted an Exploratory Survey to understand their engagement in HAI, AMR, and/or AMS activities or initiatives. This infographic also illustrates the major findings of the exploratory survey. In May 2022, NACCHO also conducted a Rural Partnership in HAI, AMR, AMS In-Depth Interviews Report to assess the barriers, assess performance and their partnerships and collaborations, and inform on workforce development and capacity building for LHDs who were engaged or not engaged in HAI, AMR, and/or AMS activities. This infographic also illustrates the major findings of the in-depth interviews. From the exploratory survey responses and more in-depth interviews, a 6-part blog series was posted along with HAI, AMR, and AMS resources and information which emphasizes the key findings from these survey and interview reports.
6-Part Blog Series:
- We are Small but Mighty! Rural, Frontier, and Small Local Health Departments Participate in NACCHO Exploratory Survey on Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI)
- NACCHO Exploratory Survey on Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) for Rural, Frontier, and Small Local Health Departments
- HAI, AMR, AMS. . . Oh My!
- Building Capacity and Competency in HAI, AMR, and AMS for Local Public Health
- HAIs, AMR, and AMS: In the Trenches and Out in the Field
- We are Small, but Mighty Part 2: NACCHO’s In-depth Interviews on Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) for Rural, Frontier, and Small Local Health Departments (LHDs)
NACCHO projects support and build workforce capacity for LHDs and recognize that opportunities and challenges in rural, frontier, and small settings may be unique. If you are a Rural, Frontier or Small LHD, please join the Rural Café, Rural-Frontier LHD Projects, Rural HAI/AR Resources, or NACCHO’s Small LHD Virtual Community to receive information specific to your unique needs and to share knowledge and collaborate.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). About Antibiotic Resistance. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugresist...;
- Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Antimicrobial Stewardship. Retrieved from https://apic.org/professional-...;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Types of Healthcare-associated Infections. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hai/infect...;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). About Antimicrobial Resistance. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugresist...;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). CDC Winnable Battles Final Report. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/winnableba...;