Hospitals slash infection rates

U.S. hospitals reduced some types of health care-associated infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

The CDC reported a 41 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections since 2008, up from the 32 percent reduction reported in 2010. Infections following surgery decreased 17 percent since 2008, the CDC said.

The Department of Health and Human Services set a goal in 2008 of reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections by 50 percent and both catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections by 25 percent by December 2013. Progress toward reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections is seeing the slowest progress.

Hospitals made a 7 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections from 2009, the same percentage as reported in 2010, CDC said.

“Reductions in some of the deadliest health care-associated infections are encouraging, especially when you consider the costs to both patients and the health care system,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

He also said that the report suggests that “hospitals need to increase their efforts to track these infections and implement control strategies that we know work.”

CDC used data from its National Healthcare Safety Network, which collects information from more than 11,500 health-care facilities in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

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