More than 13,000 healthcare-associated infections – illnesses that often can be prevented – were reported by Pennsylvania hospitals in the second half of 2008, according to initial data released today by the Department of Health (2008 Report: Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) in Pennsylvania Hospitals).
The Health Department reported the data as required by Act 52, the Reduction and Prevention of Health Care Associated Infection and Long-Term Care Nursing Facilities.
The report includes HAIs for each hospital, with an emphasis on two specific infection types: urinary tract infections associated with the use of a catheter (CAUTI) and bloodstream infections associated with the use of a central line (CLABSI). Future reports will analyze the patterns of another common type of HAI known as surgical site infections.
In the last six months of 2008, a total of 13,771 HAIs were reported by Pennsylvania hospitals, for a rate of 2.84 HAIs per 1,000 days of hospitalization. The three most commonly reported HAIs were urinary tract infections (24.83 percent), surgical site infections (22.23 percent) and intestinal infections (18.15 percent). Among all reported infections, 8.12 percent were due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which is a significant concern in the hospital setting.
Nearly a third of hospitals that used urinary catheters were found to have more CAUTI than the department expected. The same was true for CLABSI, where 30 percent of hospitals that used central lines had more infections than expected. When compared to other parts of the nation, the rates of these infections were overall lower in Pennsylvania than elsewhere.
In February 2008, all hospitals began electronically reporting HAIs using the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. Hospitals are required to report the infection within 48 hours of their recognition. The Department of Health used the reported data to produce its initial 2008 analysis and will continue to produce an annual report.
To read the full report: 2008 Report: Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) in Pennsylvania Hospitals, visit www.health.state.pa.us.