The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on February 11, 2013 its 2011 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Standardized Infection Ratio Report. The report tracks healthcare-associated infections, compares the number of infections reported to National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), and analyzes national and state-level Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) data to identify gaps in HAI prevention.
For 2011 the CDC reported:
- 41% decrease in central line (tube that is placed in a large vein of a patient's neck or chest to give medical treatment) bloodstream infections since 2008, up from the 32% reduction reported in 2010. There is progress in preventing infections in intensive care units (ICU), wards, and neonatal ICUs. When not put in correctly or kept clean, central lines can allow germs to enter the body and cause bloodstream infections. CDC estimates 12,400 central line-associated bloodstream infections took place in 2011, costing one payer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approximately $26,000 per infection.
- 17% decrease in surgical site infections since 2008, up from the 7% reduction reported in 2010. There is still possible improvement across a range of operative procedures.
- 7% decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections since 2009, the same percentage of reduction reported in 2010. There were modest reductions in infections among patients in general wards, and essentially no reduction in infections reported in critical care locations. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections among ICU patients are an area of concern because patients who get these infections likely need antibiotics for bacterial infections. Antibiotics can put patients at risk for complications such as diarrhea caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile.
The CDC report highlights areas for improvement. Infection improvement is needed in medical facilities in order to protect patients. Hospitals need to implement infection control strategies.
The report investigated data submitted to NHSN from more than 11,500 health care facilities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The number of infections reported was compared with data from 2010 and a national baseline.
The federal government has ongoing efforts to protect patients and improve health care quality, including the Partnership for Patients initiative, which concentrates on protecting patients in America's health care facilities through preventing hospital-acquired conditions.