GAO calls for steps to prevent hospital-acquired infections

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The Government Accountability Office has offered recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the organization of hospital-acquired infection information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 13 guidelines containing more than 1,200 recommended practices that would aid in reducing instances of HAIs. The GAO would like the CDC to prioritize this information, according to the report. Factors that should be taken into account include strength of evidence for the practice, costs, and organizational obstacles.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt should take action to institute recommended practices to prevent HAIs at hospitals around the country, according to the report. The GAO also calls for greater consistency and compatibility of information collected on HAIs.

The GAO's report, titled "Health-Care Associated Infections in Hospitals: Leadership Needed from HHS to Prioritize Prevention Practices and Improve Data on These Infections," can be viewed at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08283.pdf.