CDC reports successes while noting that progress needs to occur in reducing other infections seen at health care facilities.
CDC reported that four common infections occurring in health care facilities—central line–associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections—decreased in 2010.
“These successes reflect investments not only in hospital practices, but in our national and state public health capacity,” said Denise Cardo, MD, Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, in a news release. “Preventing infections in health care saves lives and reduces health care costs.”
CDC reported that the following improvements were seen in 2010:
A 33% reduction in central line–associated bloodstream infections (35% reduction among critical care patients and 26% reduction in non–critical care patients). CDC explained that if central lines are not put in correctly or kept clean, they can become "a freeway for germs to enter the body and cause serious bloodstream infections."A 7% decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections throughout hospitals.A 10% reduction in surgical site infections.An 18% decline in the number of patients developing health care–associated invasive MRSA infections.
Despite the decline in these four common infections, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, noted, “Hospitals and state health departments need to translate this progress to other areas of health care delivery and health care infections, such as dialysis and ambulatory surgery centers, and diarrheal infections such as Clostridium difficile.”
The report by CDC was based on data submitted by hospitals to the National Healthcare Safety Network, which is the agency`s health care infection monitoring system. All of the infections have national prevention target goals that are described by HHS in its Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. The action plan and other federal initiatives such as the CDC-supported Partnership for Patients seek to accelerate prevention of health care–acquired conditions.
Health care provider adherence to appropriate techniques for inserting central line catheters (>94% adherence) also improved. CDC also is monitoring two additional infections (Clostridium difficile infections and MRSA bloodstream infections) and plans to report data for these next year.
The HHS website National Targets and Metrics provides a detailed summary of the infection data reported by CDC.