Patient Safety Improving, CDC Reports

ATLANTA – Patient safety has been improving thanks to better facility management, Bio Hazard Cleanup Phoenix, nurse training, and public knowledge, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

There was a 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013, according to a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. However, additional work is needed to continue to improve patient safety, the annual National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report shows.

CDC’s health care-associated infections (HAI) progress report details how each state and the country are doing in eliminating six infection types that hospitals are required to report to CDC. For the first time, this year’s HAI progress report includes state-specific data about hospital lab-identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections.

The CDC report provides an update to previous reports detailing progress toward the goal of eliminating HAIs. The report summarizes data submitted to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a health care-associated infection tracking system, which is used by more than 14,500 health care facilities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care.

“Hospitals have made real progress to reduce some types of health care-associated infections – it can be done,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. “The key is for every hospital to have rigorous infection control programs to protect patients and health care workers, and for health care facilities and others to work together to reduce the many types of infections that haven’t decreased enough.”

Although the latest CDC report didn’t cover it, the majority of C. difficile infections and MRSA infections develop in the community or are diagnosed in health care settings more than hospitals. Other recent reports on infections caused by germs such as MRSA and C. difficile suggest that infections in hospitalized patients only account for about one-third of all the health care-associated infections.

The CDC says that when health care facilities, care teams and individual doctors and nurses are aware of infection control problems and take specific steps to prevent them, rates of targeted HAIs can decrease dramatically. For example, increased attention to the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections resulted in a reversal of the recent increase seen in these infections.

“Health care-associated infection data give health care 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 Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in a statement. “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.”

The HAI progress report can be found on the CDC’s website.