Feds Report Decline in Hospital-Acquired Infections

a%20virus.jpgIn 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a national plan to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections across the country. Three years on, the initiative has yielded success. According to the Department of Human Services, there has been a decline in the number of healthcare-associated infections over the past 3 years.

In a statement released on its website, the Department Of Health And Human Services has confirmed that since the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections: Roadmap for Elimination was implemented in 2009, there has been a reduction in hospital-acquired infections in hospitals across the country. The Department of Health and Human Services has submitted hospital infection prevention data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Care Safety Network.

According to the data, there has been a decline of 50% in the incidence of deadly central line-associated bloodstream infections. There’s also been a 10% decline in the number of surgical site infections, and 7% decline in catheter-related urinary tract infections.

That’s not all. The number of infections linked to so-called ‘superbugs’ is also on the decline. MRSA infections are still widespread, but their numbers have been dropping. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there’s been an 18% decline in the number of MRSA infections reported from hospitals. These infections spread easily in healthcare settings, where people with weakened immune systems live in close proximity to each other. The infections spread quickly through contaminated surfaces.

While the decline in hospital-acquired infections is encouraging, there is still a lot of work to be done. For instance, the number of MRSA infections may be down, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal health agencies are now struggling with an increase in the number of infections caused by the Clostridium difficile bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Clostridium difficile kills 14,000 people in the U.S. every year, and inflates health care costs by $1 billion. While there has been a decline in the number of hospital stays linked to other hospital-acquired infections, there has been an increase in the number of hospital stays associated with C. diff infections.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that C. diff infections have actually moved on beyond hospitals, and can now be found in outpatient centers, doctor’s offices, nursing home facilities and ambulatory surgical centers. In fact, according to the agency, more than 70% of these infections can now be found in health care settings other than hospitals.

For those reasons, the prevention of these infections is high on the priority list at the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency’s hospital-acquired infection plan has included in its goals a 30% reduction in C. diff infections as well as a 30% reduction in hospitalizations from these infections.

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy represent persons who have suffered medical injuries through the negligence of medical professionals including doctors, nurses, and technicians across Indiana.