(This podcast is a companion to the November 13th interview with Infectious Diseases Society of America's Amanda Jezek.)
As previously noted, conservative estimates show hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) alone sicken two million Americans, directly kill 23,000 and contribute to a total of 100,000 deaths each year. The bacterial infection C. diff (Clostridium difficile) alone causes 250,000 people to be hospitalized annually. The US has some one of the highest infection resistant rates among developed countries and within the US infection rates are highly variable.
During this 25 minute conversation Dr. Anthony Harris discusses why comparatively US infection resistance rates are high, why hand hygiene compliance rates remain persistently high (despite the fact hand contamination contributes substantially the the spread of infections), what acute care providers can do to reduce infections, what activites SHEA is pursuing to help reduce infection rates and what more can be done nationally, specifically regarding quality metrics, to lower rates.
Dr. Anthony Harris is currently a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine and is the President-Elect of SHEA. His research interests include emerging pathogens, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, hospital epidemiology/infection control, epidemiologic methods in infectious diseases and medical informatics. He has published over 100 research papers and currently receives funding from the NIH, CDC and AHRQ to study antibiotic resistant infections and hospital epidemiology. Dr. Harris received his medical degree from McGill Univesity and his MPH from Harvard.
For information on SHEA's compendium of strategies to prevent health care associated infections see: http://www.shea-online.org/HAITopics/CompendiumofStrategiestoPreventHAIs.aspx
For information on SHEA's research network of 200 hospitals see: http://www.shea-online.org/Research/SHEAResearchNetwork/SRNStudiesandResources.aspx