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New Reports on Healthcare Associated Infections Released 

Date: 8/9/2012 

Number: PH12-036 

Contact: Anita Gore 916 440-7259 


Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today announced the release of new reports summarizing healthcare associated infection (HAI) data collected from California's hospitals in 2011 on several types of infections.

“These reports expand our knowledge of these dangerous infections and will ultimately result in better and safer care through increased awareness,” said Dr. Chapman. “CDPH will continue working with hospitals throughout California to improve HAI surveillance, prevention, and lower their infection rates.”

The reports provide data from California's hospitals for the following types of infections:

Central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI); Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) bloodstream infections; Surgical site infections (SSI).

Highlights from the reports include:

• Central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) – This is the second year this data has been gathered and grouped by locations where patients with similar medical conditions receive similar medical care. CLABSI decreased by 10 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 3,519 cases to 3,163 cases. The numbers are in line with a national downward trend of CLABSI infections.

While there was an overall downward trend in 2011, there were incidents where CLABSI rates were reported higher than the state average. CDPH continues to work with hospitals to explore opportunities to improve CLABSI surveillance and prevention.

• Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) – This is the second year this data has been gathered through the national database. However, there is currently no method for adjusting these rates to account for different risk factors in patient populations.

Infection rates of these types decreased or remained the same among seven kinds of hospitals: community, major teaching, pediatric, long term acute care, rehabilitation, critical access and prison. However, the average rate among 22 long-term care hospitals increased. CDPH will work with long-term care hospitals to explore opportunities to prevent MRSA and VRE BSI.

• Surgical site infections (SSI) – This is the first calendar year report of this category of infections. This data represents an important step towards reporting these infections.

California leads the nation in the number of HAI publicly reported and continues making this information more accessible to the public. Along with these new reports, CDPH has updated and expand its interactive map of healthcare associated infections (HAI) for consumers. CDPH notes that any interpretation or comparisons of the HAI data should be made with caution. As more data becomes available over time, it will be easier to draw comparisons.

All California hospitals are required to report infection data electronically through the federal National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

Last modified on: 8/9/2012 9:19 AM