Healthcare acquired-infections down, except for C. diff

Providers are making headway in reducing healthcare-acquired infections, according to yesterday's report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state-by-state breakdown is the first report that uses standardized infection ratios for central line-associated bloodstream infections, the CDC said. Twenty-one states saw significant decreases in central line-associated bloodstream infections. States have cut central line-associated bloodstream infections by 33 percent, surgical site infections by 10 percent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. In addition, invasive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections dropped by 18 percent, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Surgical Care Improvement Project.

Based on the data, HHS updated its national plan to fight healthcare-acquired infections as part the Partnership for Patients campaign. One in every 20 patients has an infection related to hospital care every day, according to HHS.

Even though progress in the states is uneven, the country is moving in a positive direction to eliminate serious infections, the CDC said in a statement yesterday.

One type of infection that remains is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), at historic highs, killing 14,000 Americans each year and adding an estimated $1 billion in extra costs to the healthcare system, according to HHS.

"We need a comprehensive approach for tackling infections in the nation's healthcare facilities, as patients can seek care from a variety of locations and move between healthcare facilities," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. "CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network is a critical tool for states to do prevention work. Once a state knows where problems lie, it can better assist facilities in correcting the issue and protecting patients."

Once states have data, they can identify areas of improvement and measure progress, he said.

"While our work must continue so that hospitals become even safer, this is clear evidence that care is improving," American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said in an AHA News Now brief.

For more information:
- see the HHS announcement
- see the national plan summary
- read the CDC media advisory
- check out the CDC report
- here's the AHA News Now brief

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