Hospital-Acquired Infections Decline, But Threat Remains

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , March 27, 2014

It found the following trends in infections acquired within the hospital:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) dropped 44% between 2008 and 2012.
  • Surgical site infections associated with colon procedures dropped 20% between 2008 and 2012.
  • Infections with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) dropped 4% between 2011 and 2012.
  • C. diff infections dropped 2% between 2011 and 2012.
  • Only catheter-associated urinary tract infections increased, with 3% more infections reported in 2012 than in 2011.

Paul Malpiedi, health scientist with the CDC's NHSN, said during a telephone interview Tuesday that the NHSN data represents infections that hospitals are incentivized to report through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid quality reporting programs.

HAIs 'Not Just a Nursing Problem'

Asked to which programs he thinks are responsible for the success, Malpiedi replied, "We're aware of prevention success throughout the country due to a variety of efforts led by the CDC as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Light has been shined on the problem of healthcare-associated infections, and I think that as facilities start reporting data and are able to see where they have problems, they can implement interventions in different parts of their hospitals."

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