Illinois Hospitals Reporting Fewer Infections

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Damon T. Arnold recently announced that overall, hospitals in Illinois reported fewer healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in 2010 compared to 2009. As part of its continual update of the Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care Web site, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) analyzed central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) data and found more than 75 percent of Illinois hospitals had the same number, or fewer, central line-associated bloodstream infection cases in 2010 compared to 2009. In 2009, 383 bloodstream infections were reported in adult intensive care units in Illinois; in 2010, only 282 were reported.

"Although results are only for two years, they indicate a significant step forward in the prevention of infection and protection of Illinois patients," Arnold says. "Hospital surveillance of infections and public reporting on the Illinois Hospital Report Card Web site play key roles in prevention efforts. In addition, many Illinois hospitals have incorporated targeted interventions to reduce bloodstream infections."

An estimated 248,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a large proportion of these infections are associated with the presence of a central vascular catheter. Bloodstream infections are usually serious infections typically causing a prolongation of hospital stay and increased cost and risk of mortality. While it is difficult to reduce infections to zero, following specific protocols can greatly reduce the risk.

The Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care Web site allows consumers to find information about healthcare-associated infections, nurse staffing, emergency room use and a host of other adult and pediatric quality and safety measures. The latest data on the Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care can be found at http://www.healthcarereportcard.illinois.gov/

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