If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

Printer friendly: For a printer friendly, PDF version of this fact sheet, click here.


In modern healthcare, patients are often treated for conditions using invasive devices and procedures.  Infections associated with these devices and treatment can arise. Among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

Because of this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Action Plan to Prevent Health-Care Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination. The action plan is a national strategy for preventing HAIs in acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, and long-term care facilities, and for implementing antibiotic stewardship efforts as a means of HAI prevention.

The federal government has created programs for the purpose of preventing the spread of HAIs:

Why is this important?

Federal investments in research to discover interventions and best practices for preventing HAIs are critical to improving the quality of healthcare in the United States. This research helps healthcare clinicians understand how infections are transmitted to patients from other patients or healthcare personnel during the delivery of care. Researchers discover which interventions or changes in practice are effective in reducing or eliminating the transmission of infections. The Department of Health and Human Services made a commitment to reducing HAIs in National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections. Reducing the prevalence of preventable infections will decrease costs in the healthcare system and improve patient outcomes.

Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) advocates strongly for federal investments in research for preventing HAIs. SHEA encourages Congress to appropriate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality including

  • A minimum of $40.2 million dedicated research in preventing HAIs within the patient safety portfolio;
  • A minimum of $52.9 million for investigator-initiated research;
  • A minimum of $12 million for combating antibiotic resistance.

SHEA also believes the important work of the CDC Prevention Epicenters must continue to be funded at a level that provides for a minimum of $6 million per year. SHEA strongly advocates for CDC funding to allow for new grants at the conclusion of the current grant cycle for Prevention Epicenters. 

What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will maintain a sustained advocacy campaign in support of investments in preventing healthcare-associated infections. SHEA advocates are encouraged to connect with their elected representatives and encourage them to support this important research and vote for sustained funding to protect Americans.

How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network grassroots@shea-online.org.

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #HAIs or #StopHAIs.