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Significant Decrease in Hospital-Associated Infections at Acute Care Hospitals, Others Lag Behind: CDC Report

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Ayanna Amadi
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Significant Decrease in Hospital-Associated Infections at Acute Care Hospitals, Others Lag Behind: CDC Report

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In a significant stride forward for patient care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported notable decreases in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) at acute care hospitals in 2022. However, progress remained stagnant at other types of healthcare facilities, underscoring the need for continued investment in infection prevention strategies.

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Overview of the CDC Report

The 2022 annual National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report compiled data from a variety of healthcare settings. This included acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). The report analyzed several HAIs, using standardized infection ratios (SIRs) to measure progress in reducing these infections compared to the 2015 baseline period. The report also employed standardized utilization ratios (SURs) to measure device use by comparing the observed device days to the predicted device days.

Declining Rates at Acute Care Hospitals

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Encouragingly, the report highlighted significant declines in several types of HAIs at acute care hospitals. Ventilator-associated events saw a 19% decrease, hospital onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia saw a 16% decrease, catheter-associated urinary tract infections saw a 12% decrease, central line-associated bloodstream infections saw a 9% decrease, and hospital onset Clostridioides difficile infections saw a 3% decrease.

This is the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that such progress has been observed in acute care hospitals. The reduction in these infection rates is a testament to the effectiveness of infection prevention strategies, and highlights the potential for improvements in patient care practices.

Stagnant Rates at Other Healthcare Facilities

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While the progress at acute care hospitals is encouraging, the report identified that little headway has been made in reducing HAIs at other healthcare facilities. The rates of HAIs at critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term acute care hospitals remained relatively unchanged.

This stagnation underscores the need for a concerted effort to implement effective infection prevention strategies across all healthcare settings. It is crucial to ensure that advances in patient care practices are not limited to acute care hospitals, but are extended to all healthcare facilities to ensure patient safety and high-quality healthcare.

The Way Forward

The CDC report highlights an urgent need for continued investment in infection prevention strategies across all healthcare facilities. While the progress at acute care hospitals is a positive sign, it is clear that more needs to be done to reduce HAIs at other healthcare settings.

The report calls for improvements in patient care practices, such as the development of locally led measures and the need for ongoing support to scale them nationally. It is through these efforts that we can ensure safe, high-quality healthcare for all patients, regardless of the type of facility they are treated in.

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