New York State Launches Initiative to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections

Albany, N.Y. (Aug. 22, 2007) - The New York State Department of Health is seeking proposals from non-profit health care organizations to participate in a new initiative focusing on the prevention of infections acquired by patients during hospital stays.

A Request for Applications (RFA) issued by the Department today invites organizations to apply for a share of $1 million in funding in connection with the Hospital-Acquired Infection Prevention Project, with the possibility of funding renewal for four additional years.

Hospital-acquired infections are a major public health problem in the United States. Nationally, there are an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths reported annually. The most common hospital-acquired infections are urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, pneumonias, and bloodstream infections.

"Each year, these infections affect 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients, jeopardizing their health and adding approximately $5 billion to the nation's health care costs," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "This initiative will help identify and implement new strategies for preventing and reducing these infections."

Since January, all acute care hospitals in New York State have been required by law to report certain hospital acquired infections to the State Health Department. The State will use this information to educate health care providers and patients on the problem and to support quality improvement efforts to protect patient safety.

The Hospital-Acquired Infection Prevention Project will supplement these efforts by identifying and implementing prevention and control approaches that can be replicated statewide. The funding will support demonstration projects that identify quality improvement strategies, systematically implement them, and measure their effectiveness in reducing infections. It is anticipated that five to 10 awards will be made, ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 per project per year. The funding is from a state aid-to-localities appropriation for health promotion initiatives.

Funded projects must focus on one or more of the following:

  • Reduction of specific types of hospital-acquired infections, such as surgical site infections or central line-associated bloodstream infections.
  • Reduction of specific microorganisms associated with hospital-acquired infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
  • Reduction of specific infections in select population groups, such as Acinetobacter infections in patients on mechanical ventilation, a major cause of pneumonia.

The Request for Applications can be viewed online at: www.health.ny.gov/funding/rfa/inactive/0706140140/