The Department of Health and Human Services has prioritized tracking, reporting, and preventing costly and dangerous bloodstream infections, with a national goal of reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections by 50% by 2013.
Starting this year, hospitals must track and report CLABSIs in ICUs to qualify for an annual 2% Medicare payment increase. Hospitals will report their infection rates to CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, and the data will be shared with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and made public later this year on CMS' Hospital Compare Web site. CDC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are also providing state health departments with funding to better track and prevent HAI's at the state level, CDC said.
A recent CDC report showed a 58% decrease in CLABSIs among hospital ICU patients in 2009, compared to 2001. In 2009 alone, reducing these infections saved about 3,000 to 6,000 lives and about $414 million in extra medical costs, compared with 2001.
"Education and reinforcement of care and maintenance protocols among staff is key. We all have a role to play in protecting patients from these infections," O'Grady said.