Infection Prevention

Infections can be serious and sometimes cause fatal complications. By now, everyone knows that the best way to prevent or stop the spread of infections is good handwashing. Developing a regular, effective handwashing habit can benefit you and those around you.
Preventing infections in hospitals requires constant attention and multiple best-practice strategies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. WHA supports its member hospitals by providing educational resources and networking opportunities to infection preventionists, nurses, physicians, and other clinical professionals to reduce infections.

WHA regularly displays infection rates on its CheckPoint website so that hospitals can compare their performance and see how Wisconsin compares to the rest of the nation.  WHA’s Checkpoint data shows that Wisconsin’s average rates of infection for most major health care-associated conditions do better than the national average.

Current WHA Infection Prevention Initiatives

Finally, WHA participates with state and regional groups to bring the voice of its members to the table and contribute to the shared goal of a healthy population.
  • Over 80 Wisconsin hospitals participate in the Great Lakes Partners for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network ( to work on reducing:
    • CAUTIs (catheter-associated urinary tract infections),
    • CLABSIs (Central Line-associated blood stream infections),
    • SSIs (Surgical Site Infections),
    • CDI (Clostridoides difficile infections), and
    • MRSA (Methicillin-resistant staph aureus)
  • Partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Health to develop and disseminate resources to reduce healthcare-associated infections, including the Infection Prevention Bootcamp for new hospital infection prevention professionals
  • Working with hospital surgeons to improve colon surgery outcomes through the Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin
  • Supporting hospitals in implementing perioperative evidence-based pathways to meaningfully improve clinical outcomes, reduce hospital length-of-stay, and improve the patient experience through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery (ISCR)