Safe Healthcare

Protecting Patients, Lowering Costs

Whether you operate a hospital, insurance company, major corporation or small business, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are costly to your business and potentially lethal to your workforce.

Learn how initiatives and resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) help you safeguard your business and workforce from infections and lower your costs.

Safe Helathcare

Business Challenges

Infections from medical care impact your employees, increase the cost of health insurance for everyone and decrease your ability to do business.

Every DAY

One Out Of Twenty

hospitalized patients has an infection caused by medical care

Every YEAR...

2,000,000 People

get antibiotic-resistant infections

(That's nearly the population of Houston, Texas)

At least 23,000 people die as a result
  • More than 1 million infections occur each year across healthcare settings.
  • In hospitals, one in five infections show a concerning form of drug resistance.
  • At least 150,000 patients have been impacted by unsafe injections since 2001. Source
  • Antibiotic use leads to drug resistance, yet 50% of antibiotic use is unnecessary or incorrect. Source

Infections occur in all types of medical facilities, including hospitals, outpatient care and surgery centers, dialysis clinics and nursing homes

  • Every year, C. difficile causes 250,000 hospitalizations, 14,000 deaths and at least $1 billion in excess medical costs.
  • MRSA causes more than 80,000 severe infections and more than 11,000 deaths annually.
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has spread from one state to 44 states in the last decade. This germ is resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics.

A recent CDC threat report on antibiotic resistance highlighted

18 pathogens

that are outsmarting our best antibiotics

  • Surgical site infections in hospitals cost the U.S. healthcare system up to $10 billion per year.
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals cost the U.S. healthcare system up to $450 million per year, and are one of the most prevalent infections. Source

The economic burden of healthcare-associated infections may be as high as

$45 Billion

per year in the U.S.


with 70% of some infections being preventable

CDC is Working for You

By tracking infections, leading groundbreaking research, publishing best practice guidelines and stopping outbreaks, CDC has helped healthcare providers make dramatic progress in preventing infections. CDC also works to make consumers more informed about issues that influence their healthcare decisions. Encourage your employees to ask doctors and nurses about their infection prevention efforts.

Following safer practices has...

decreased central-line associated bloodstream infections by

decreased surgical site infections by

since 2008

Between 1990 and 2010, as many as 198,000 bloodstream infections were prevented in critical care patients with central lines.

A central line is a tube that may be placed in a large vein or a patient's neck or chest to give important medical treatment. When not put in correctly or kept clean, central lines can become a freeway for germs to enter the body and cause serious bloodstream infections. They can be deadly. [More]


37,000 - Bloodstream Infections

happen each year to kidney dialysis patients with central lines. Following CDC guidelines can cut bloodstream infections among dialysis patients in half.

CDC has tools to help you protect your hemodialysis patients from bloodstream infections:

Make sure your hospital has a program to improve antibiotic prescribing (an antibiotic stewardship program).

- - - -

For tools and guidance on how to start a program, see CDC's Get Smart for Healthcare website:

Get Smart For Healthcare


stewdardship programs

can save healthcare facilities

$200,000 - $400,000


For every federal dollar spent

on CDC healthcare-associated bloodstream infection activities, Medicare/Medicaid has saved on average

Ten Dollars

CDC Solutions

CDC's innovative solutions and resources help the U.S. healthcare system keep pace with emerging threats and new infection prevention strategies. CDC also helps healthcare facilities track and prevent infections to ensure doctors and nurses provide safer care for patients.

1. Tracking

More Than 12,000 healthcare facilities

are now tracking their infections using CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network

CDC provides the U.S. healthcare system with data for safe care, including

IT solutions to track and prevent healthcare-associated infections.

- - - -

Enroll in the National Healthcare Safety Network:

National Healthcare Safety Network
2. Guidelines

CDC guidelines offer the best available scientific evidence to

Prevent Infections - and protect patients

View CDC Guidelines
3. Outbreak Response

CDC frontline experts investigate outbreaks and - Sound the Alarm - about drug or equipment contamination

Alarm Bell

such as the 2012 multistate fungal meningitis outbreak

4. Innovative Research
CDC researches innovative infection prevention strategies to protect patients and save lives
Prevention Epicenters Program
5. World-Class Lab


tracks drug-resistant threats and evaluates the role of the healthcare environment in infection transmission

Take Action

Business Leaders

Corporate Business Leaders:

Encourage employees to ask questions when seeking medical treatment.

10 ways to be a safe patient

Find ways to identify insurance providers that are focused on patient safety. Ask insurers to consider infection prevention training for providers.

Learn how your business can collaborate with CDC to advance safe healthcare and be part of the CDC Foundation's Safe Healthcare Initiative.

Healthcare CEOs and Chief Medical Officers:

  • Use your data to identify "hot spots" in your facility and target prevention efforts.
  • Invest in electronic health record systems that can connect to CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network.
Enroll your facility in the NHSN
  • Insist that staff members consistently follow CDC infection prevention guidelines.
View CDC Guidelines
  • Work with labs that accurately identify drug-resistant infections and alert clinical and infection prevention staff of findings.
  • Make it a policy to notify receiving facilities about infections when transferring patients.
  • Join or start regional prevention efforts. Contact your state health department for more details.
Find Your State Health Department

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