Hospitals making progress in preventing infections

January 27, 2015

According to a new government report, health care-associated (HCA) infections in acute care hospitals decreased between 2011 and 2013, including a 10% drop in Clostridium difficile infections and an 8% decline in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia.

According to a new government report, health care-associated (HCA) infections in acute care hospitals decreased between 2011 and 2013, including a 10% drop in Clostridium difficile infections and an 8% decline in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia. 

 

However, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also points out that most C. difficile and MRSA infections are diagnosed in healthcare settings other than acute care hospitals.

 

Related content: CDC report raises alarm about hospital infections

 

“Hospitals have made real progress to reduce some types of health care-associated infections. It can be done,” said Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the CDC. “The key is for every hospital to have rigorous infection control programs to protect patients and healthcare workers, and for healthcare facilities and others to work together to reduce the many types of infections that have not decreased enough.”

 

The CDC’s “National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Progress Report” details the progress each state has made in eliminating six types of infections that hospitals are required to report, summarizing data submitted to the agency by more than 14,500 healthcare facilities.

 

According to the CDC, one in 25 U.S. patients acquires at least one infection during their hospital stay. Still, the report indicates that hospitals are making progress in reducing infections. The largest reduction in infections was in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), which declined 46% between 2008 and 2013. 

 

The report said there was a 19% decrease in surgical site infections (SSIs) related to 10 specific procedures [including hip and knee arthroplasty, colorectal surgery, abdominal, and vaginal hysterectomies]. However, the CDC said catheter-associated urinary tract infections increased 6%.

 

“Healthcare-associated infection data give healthcare facilities and public health agencies knowledge to design, implement, and evaluate HAI prevention efforts,” said Patrick Conway, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Medicare’s quality measurement reporting requires hospitals to share this information with the CDC, demonstrating that, together, we can dramatically improve the safety and quality of care for patients.”