2 Minute Read

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) have been decreasing in hospitals and other healthcare facilities for several consecutive years. However, the CDC recently made an unfortunate announcement that HAIs have significantly increased among the COVID-19 pandemic

What is a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI)

A HAI is an infection that a patient gets in a medical facility while being treated for something else. It's essentially a new illness or disease that wasn't present when that patient initially came into the hospital to be treated. CDC data shows that roughly one in 31 hospital patients have an infection related to hospital care.

Common types of Healthcare-Associated Infections include:

  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI)
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
  • Surgical site infection (SSI, this is the most common of the four)
  • Ventilator-associated events (VAE)

These types of HAIs result in infections such as pneumonia, MRSA, staph, and many others.

How to Prevent HAIs and Take Back Control of Your Healthcare Facility

Providing extra pre-cautionary measures is vital in preventing infections and controlling the recent rise of HAIs in healthcare facilities. While masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies are viable safety measures, the best way to combat all viruses is with additional sanitation techniques.

UV germicidal light is by far one of the most effective methods in eliminating germs and viruses from your healthcare spaces and is a key factor in decreasing HAIs in high risk spaces such as hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, and other outpatient facilities.

UV germicidal light is not only effective in killing the Coronavirus, but it is extremely effective in killing many other infections. Germicidal UV lighting can kill up to 99.9% of pathogens and has been used to successfully kill anything from tuberculosis to the common cold to the flu virus.

Federal Funds Help Pay for Protective Equipment to Support HAI Prevention

Due to the recent increase in HAIs in 2020, the CDC announced a $2.1 billion dollar investment from the American Rescue Plan to fund necessary resources and help improve infection prevention and control. Over the next three years, the CDC will issue awards ($1.25 billion in total) to 64 state, local and territorial health departments to accelerate prevention and provide healthcare infection control solutions. Local governments are responsible for allocating funds to all healthcare facilities, starting with high risk facilities. 

The CDC will use $500 million of their initial funding in October 2021 to support prevention against COVID-19 for the most affected population: state-based nursing homes and long-term care strike teams. The remining $385 million will go to state and local health departments to provide necessary resources that help prevent, detect, and control infectious disease threats in other high risk healthcare settings.

Eligible states and municipalities will use the Treasury Submission Portal to request ARP funds for their area. State and local municipalities that receive Federal Funding are then responsible for allocating awards to healthcare facilities across territories. If your healthcare facility received (or will receive) portions of these funds, you may be able to use those funds to purchase UV-C disinfection equipment. There are many UVC light applications, as this equipment can be used to disinfect both air and surfaces, improving indoor air quality and mitigating the risk of transmission on surfaces. 

Next Steps

To learn more, Contact Stouch Lighting and we can help create a customized UV-C plan for your space to ensure you're purchasing validated, trusted equipment. You may include this UV-C strategy in your recovery plan.

If you want to learn more about UV disinfection light, you can also explore all our content related to UV-C disinfection light here