New York State DOH reports drop in hospital-acquired infections

The New York State Department of Health recently reported that the number of infections acquired by patients while in state hospitals is continuing to drop.

The DOH released its 6th annual report on hospital-acquired infections last week, which includes rates of infections for individual hospitals. The report found that since 2007, rates of surgical site infections for selected procedures dropped by 16 percent and the rate of central-line associated blood stream infections decreased by 53 percent.

The report also determined that since 2010, the rate of Clostridium difficile infections dropped 15 percent among 88 hospitals that used the same test throughout the reporting period. The rate of C. diff infections increased by 14 percent in 89 hospitals that switched to a laboratory test capable of detecting more cases.

"Patients deserve the peace-of-mind of knowing the hospital they receive treatment from utilizes best practices to protect their safety," Nirav Shah, the state health commissioner, said. "Preventing hospital-acquired infections is a key component of patient safety, and we will continue to proactively work with hospitals to reduce the number of these infections."

The DOH said that projects it funded to prevent HAIs are continuing to result in reductions in targeted infections and improvements in patient care quality and safety. The projects included interventions to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and CLABSIs.