Would a combination of bleach and ultraviolet light sanitize hospital rooms? How might medical practitioners distinguish patients who need antibiotics from those who do not? What, if any, strategy could be implemented to anticipate when medical devices increase a patient’s risk of infection? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded $10 million to five medical centers to answer important questions like these and develop innovative strategies to combat the estimated 1.7 million hospital associated infections (HAIs) that occur annually in the United States alone.
The peer-reviewed grant, issued every five years, is funded through CDC’s Prevention Epicenters program, which began in 1997 as a joint effort between the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) and academic partners as a way to reduce HAIs through research and innovative, clinical practices. The program places an emphasis on collaborative, multi-center research projects.
Past grantees have a successful track record of increasing information sharing among healthcare centers, coordinating surveillance practices, and inhibiting the spread ofbacteria through preventative techniques that lead to cleaner, safer treatment facilities. Grant recipients include the Chicago Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Prevention Epicenter, the Duke University Prevention Epicenter, the Translation Prevention Research Epicenter, Southeastern Pennsylvania Adult and Pediatric Prevention Epicenter Network, and Washington University and BJC Epi-Center for Prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections.