The California Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Initiative (CHAIPI)

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year one of every 20 patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection (HAI). HAIs contribute to more deaths each year than AIDS, Alzheimer's, or diabetes, and are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The costs in human suffering and healthcare dollars are enormous:

  • 1.7 million reported HAI cases annually across the nation 
  • 99,000 of annual cases resulting in death 
  • $20 billion in additional treatment costs resulting from HAIs

Seeing an opportunity to make significant improvements, the Foundation provided $1 million in grants in 2005 to support an innovative pilot project to determine if new technology could be used to identify and dramatically reduce HAIs. Working with 10 participating hospitals, the California Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Initiative (CHAIPI) was born.

To learn more about the CHAIPI pilot project and its outcomes, read the issue brief, Making Sure Hospitals Heal, Not Harm.

Encouraged by the success of the CHAIPI pilot, in February 2008, the Foundation committed an additional $3.5 million to expand the program to include 51 nonprofit hospitals across the state. All participating hospitals took part in an advanced learning collaborative staffed by infection prevention leaders from nationally recognized organizations such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Association for Professional in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and California Institute for Health Systems Performance (CIHSP)

An early evaluation from a subset of ten participating hospitals produced the following results: 

  • 905 patients prevented from acquiring an infection
  • Hospital savings to the bottom line of over $4.1 million
  • Significant reductions in infection rates, including a 29 percent reduction in MRSA, a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to antibiotics

CHAIPI completed its work in April 2010. Summary reports will be posted here, upon publication.

Health and Technology Program (2004 – 2008)

The Foundation’s Health and Technology program was an innovative health grantmaking program aimed at advancing the application of evidence-based medicine and health technology while supporting effective, high-quality care for Californians. The Health and Technology program was phased down in 2008 as the Foundation refined its strategic focus. While no longer an active Foundation program, the Health and Technology program continues to have a lasting impact on the field. Learn more