The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is readying two surveys of hospitals to obtain enough data to estimate the prevalence of healthcare associated infections and the use of antimicrobials.

"Preventing HAIs is a CDC priority and an essential step in reducing the occurrence of HAIs is to accurately estimate the burden of these infections in U.S. hospitals and to describe the types of HAIs and their causative organisms, including antimicrobial-resistant pathogens," the agency said in a notice published Jan. 27 in the Federal Register.

CDC last directly estimated the prevalence of HAIs in the 1970s and 1980s. Its existing HAI surveillance system is limited to device-associated and procedure-associated infections in certain patient locations. Consequently, CDC for many years has not received data on all types of HAIs necessary to estimate hospital-wide prevalence.

CDC proposes to survey 30 hospitals in 10 states on a single day. Infection control professionals in the hospitals will collect demographic and clinical information on a sample of eligible inpatients. Professionals in CDC's Emerging Infections Program will collect information on HAIs and antimicrobial use for surveyed patients who are on antimicrobial therapy at the time of the survey. CDC then will conduct a survey of 500 hospitals across the same 10 states using the same methodology. The agency will work with state public health authorities on both surveys.

The complete notice is available at

--Joseph Goedert

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