SHEA Comments on New CDC HAI Data

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing national progress in the fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  National trends show a decrease in reported HAIs, including reduced prevalence of central line-associated bloodstream infections, hospital-onset MRSA, C. difficile infections, and infections related to 10 surgical procedures. 
“This progress is the direct result of the ongoing efforts of healthcare workers across the country who are dedicated to improving patient care and outcomes,” says Daniel Diekema, MD, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.  
According to the CDC, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay every day.  Further statistics released based on 2011 data, highlight the fact that approximately one in 25 U.S. patients contracts at least one infection during the course of their hospital care on a daily basis, totaling about 722,000 infections in 2011 alone. 

“While these trends are promising evidence of progress, more work needs to be done to further reduce HAIs,” said Diekema. “As these results reveal, our greatest progress has been in the reduction of infections for which prevention approaches have been well studied.  For many other HAIs, we must still make progress in understanding what prevention approaches work.  More funding for HAI prevention research is essential to make this happen.”

To ensure patients’ safety and reduce HAIs in healthcare settings, SHEA encourages following standard infection control practices and evidence-based guidelines. This includes a strong emphasis on hand hygiene and curbing unnecessary use of antibiotics to ensure their efficacy in the future.  Many of these standard infection control procedures can and should be applied for use in all patient-care settings.

Source: Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)