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HAC Reductions Continue to Save Lives, Dollars in 2014

Patients across the country experienced 2.1 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 through 2014, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently reported.

HACs fell by 17 percent in 2014, mirroring the total rate of decline documented in another recent AHRQ report, which measured HAC reduction from 2010 through 2013. In its latest report, AHRQ estimated that the reduction in HAC rates averted 87,000 patient deaths, largely through reductions in these conditions:

  • adverse drug events
  • catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • central line associated bloodstream infections
  • pressure ulcers
  • surgical site infections

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established a variety of complementary interventions to reduce adverse health events in the hospital setting. One, the Partnership for Patients, established hospital engagement networks to improve safety, including the Essential Hospitals Engagement Network (EHEN) of America’s Essential Hospitals. Through their EHEN work, member hospitals avoided about 4,000 patient harm events and saved an estimated $41 million.

HHS continues to promote hospitals’ efforts to reduce the prevalence of HACs, and AHRQ recently released a Toolkit for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals to help hospitals make further gains in fighting CAUTI.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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