Colorado Hospitals Exceed National Standard for Infection Rates in 2012

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The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s annual Health Facility-Acquired Infections report shows more healthcare facilities in the state met or exceeded the national standard for infection rates in 2012. There were 528 facilities that met or exceeded the standard in 2012, compared to 509 in 2011.

As part of a comprehensive reform to address HAIs, 30 states, including Colorado and the District of Columbia, have mandated public HAI reporting using CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to create greater transparency between healthcare facilities and the public while supporting greater accountability. Colorado’s legislatively mandated report contains data for surgical site infections in cardiac, orthopedic and abdominal operative procedures; central line-associated bloodstream infections in adult and neonatal critical care units and long-term acute care hospitals; and dialysis related infections in outpatient dialysis treatment centers. Data provided in the report are self-reported by each facility.

To assess the validity of reported data, the department’s Patient Safety Program has conducted three validation studies to date on central line associated bloodstream infections, hernia surgical site infections and dialysis infections. All three validation studies provided the opportunity to identify areas of misunderstanding about infection surveillance and reporting and provide focused education to health facility staff about surveillance definitions, rules and practices. A fourth validation study for hip/knee procedures is currently underway.

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