Pennsylvania Department of Health released report on healthcare-associated infections in Pennsylvania hospitals, showing marked improvements in the number of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) reported by hospitals. From 2008 to 2009, there was a 12.5 percent decrease in HAIs, which are infections that patients acquired while in a healthcare setting and were not present when they were admitted for care.
A total of 25,914 HAIs was reported by the 250 hospitals that were in continuous operation during 2009. This translates to an overall statewide rate of 2.37 HAIs per 1,000 patient days of hospitalization. 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).
The report is based on information submitted by hospitals in Pennsylvania, beginning in February 2008, to the National Healthcare Safety Network, a system maintained and operated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Hospitals are required to report the infection within 48 hours of their recognition.
The Department of Health released the data as required by Act 52, the Reduction and Prevention of Health Care Associated Infection and Long-Term Care of Nursing Facilities. Though not required by law, the department did release a report in January 2010 that included data reported for the last half of 2008. However, since that report did not include a full year’s worth of data, it could not be used to establish initial rates of HAIs in the Commonwealth.