HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released its third annual report on healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs, which are infections acquired while receiving medical care.
The 2010 report compiles data collected from Pennsylvania hospitals and provides an overview of trends and comparisons among hospitals, as well as between state and national rates.
“The findings in this report signify Pennsylvania’s ability to maintain and improve upon quality health care for its citizens,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Eli N. Avila. “We must continue to decrease HAIs in order to provide better and more cost-effective care.”
Hospitals in Pennsylvania are required to report HAIs to the Department of Health through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
The report includes information pertaining to HAIs, including infection types and rates of occurrence. It uses three benchmarks to determine hospital performance: catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central-line blood stream infections and six types of surgical site infections, or SSIs. The 2010 report also marks the first public release of hospital-specific data on SSIs.
This year’s data showed a 3.4 percent decrease in the overall HAI rate in Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2010. Central-line blood stream infections, which saw a significant decline of 24.4 percent, have been the target of many national prevention initiatives due to the cost and severity of these types of infections.
HAIs have received increasing attention over the years because of escalating health care costs and in recognition of their preventability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 20 hospitalized patients will contract a HAI.
Find the 2010 report under the “What’s Hot” section at www.health.state.pa.us.