For over a decade the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has invested in research and implementation projects to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in diverse health care settings. AHRQ's commitment to HAI prevention has been expressed in activities within the Agency and through its funding of contracts and grants. In 2011, AHRQ funded IMPAQ International and the RAND Corporation to conduct a synthesis of results of AHRQ-funded HAI projects to identify the major results and lessons learned stemming from AHRQ-funded research, disseminate this information, and identify remaining gaps in the HAI knowledge base. To accomplish these goals, the synthesis draws information from AHRQ-funded project documents (final reports, peer-reviewed literature, and HAI prevention toolkits), in-depth interviews with project leaders, and forthcoming supplements of peer-reviewed infection control journals. In addition, the present volume, Advances in the Prevention and Control of HAIs, is a key information source for the synthesis project and also serves as a valuable dissemination mechanism for methods-related findings and lessons learned. This publication continues AHRQ's highly successful Advances series and focuses on methodological issues associated with the identification, mitigation, and prevention of HAIs, including challenges encountered in the conduct of the studies and how the challenges were overcome.
This volume presents manuscripts developed by AHRQ-funded HAI project leaders who have agreed to share important methodological insights and lessons learned. The volume includes 19 manuscripts organized under two headings. The 11 papers that make up the Development and Implementation of HAI Prevention Practices section discuss methods, challenges, and lessons learned from designing, deploying, and testing HAI prevention practices. The remaining manuscripts fall into the category of HAI Risk Identification for Quality Improvement and focus on HAI surveillance methods and the use of data and technology as a means to improve HAI prevention.