WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is using $40 million of Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help hospitals fight healthcare-associated infections.
"Americans expect to get better when they go to the hospital, not worse," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services said in a statement. "Unfortunately, every year, thousands of Americans die from illness they contract after they enter the hospital."
The money will be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through
cooperative agreements to 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The funds will be used to:
-- Create or expand state and local efforts to implement U.S. recommendations to reduce infections.
-- Increase use of surveillance systems that allows healthcare-associated infections data to be tracked, analyzed and compared for prevention efforts.
-- Hire and train public health staff to promote and lead healthcare-associated infections prevention initiatives.
The CDC estimates Americans contract 1.7 million infections each year, while being treated in hospitals, which are associated with some 99,000 deaths annually.