The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released the “Healthcare-Associated Infections in California Hospitals Annual Report for January to December 2014” and “Influenza Vaccination among Healthcare personnel in California Hospitals for the 2014-15 Influenza Season.” Using data from the infections report, CDPH also updated its interactive map with data for individual hospitals. The reports contain 2014 data from 392 licensed general acute care hospitals, representing 419 hospital campuses. Data is available through the Healthcare-Associated Infections webpage.
“This report will help the public make informed decisions on where they want to receive health care,” said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith. “Though data shows California hospitals are getting better, there is still work to be done.”
Despite progress, healthcare-associated infections continue to be a significant public health problem for California. In 2014, hospitals reported 19,200 healthcare-associated infections. While the incidence of most types of healthcare-associated infections has dropped, C. difficile diarrheal infections have increased 9 percent since 2011.
Hospitals are continuing to make incremental progress in their healthcare personnel vaccination coverage, with reported vaccination rates of 85 percent for hospital employees and 66 percent for non-employee healthcare providers such as physicians or other staff contracted to provide hospital care.
Hospitals should review these data and implement infection prevention strategies specific to their local needs. The public should review the infection information presented for their local hospitals. They can ask their healthcare providers questions about the reported data and how the hospital is protecting against healthcare-associated infections. Public awareness reinforces expectations of patient safety and emphasizes professional responsibility to protect patients.
The annual report data will also be made available through the California Health and Human Services Agency Data Portal within the month. The portal provides user-friendly access to non-confidential health data. The data sets are freely available, machine-readable and formatted according to national technical standards to facilitate visibility and reuse of published data by individuals, business, researchers, journalists, developers and others. The Open Data Portal’s goals are to spark innovation, promote research and economic opportunities, engage public participation in government, increase transparency and inform decision-making.