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Utah hospitals show improvement on healthcare infections

November 30, 2017 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Department of Health (UDOH) has released the 2016 report of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in licensed hospitals and dialysis facilities in Utah.

The report provides information on specific types of HAIs that are reportable in Utah, including central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), surgical site infections (SSIs) associated with colon surgeries and abdominal hysterectomies, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia infections.

This year’s report includes data on bloodstream infections that occur as a result of dialysis.

Utah State regulation (Rule 386-705, Epidemiology, Healthcare-associated Infection) requires the UDOH to collect and report data on HAIs. The Utah data are self-reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) by each facility that is required to report HAIs by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Compared with the national baseline data, patients in Utah facilities that reported 2016 HAI data to NHSN experienced:

• 18% fewer CLABSI;

• 18% more CAUTI;

• 28% more surgical site infections within 30 days of colon surgery;

• 32% more surgical site infections within 30 days of abdominal hysterectomy;

• 7% more C. difficile infections;

• 38% fewer MRSA bacteremia infections;

• 1% fewer bloodstream infections associated with dialysis.

“Utah continues to improve in reducing HAIs in areas such as CLABSI, but lags behind in improving CAUTIs and dialysis bloodstream infections,” says Karen Singson, HAI Program Manager.

“Once health care systems recognize the infection burden, they can work to promote proven interventions and prevention strategies.”

The annual HAI report contains information for all infections required to be reported to NHSN by CMS according to the CMS Healthcare Facility HAI Reporting Requirements timeline.

To read the entire HAI Report, visit http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/surveillance/2016_HAI_Report.pdf.

Patients can decrease the potential for contracting an HAI by following these recommendations:

• Be an advocate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about personal care to fully understand the treatment plan and expected outcomes. Those who do will be able to recover easier, and their family and friends can be more helpful, once the patient knows what is to be expected.

• If a patient has an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell the nurse promptly if the dressing works loose or gets wet.

• Likewise, if the patient has a dressing on a wound, let the nurse know promptly if it works loose or gets wet.

• If a patient has any type of catheter or drainage tube, let the nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.

• If the patient is to have surgery, ask if the patient should shower with a germ-killing soap before the operation.

• Clean hands properly and make sure everyone else around the patient does too.

• If the patient’s room looks dirty, ask to have it cleaned.

• Every day, ask if the catheter or other device is still needed.

• Ask about safe injection practices: One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time.

• Take medications only as directed.

• If possible, ask all friends and relatives not to visit if they feel ill.

For more information about HAIs, visit http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/.

Licensed hospitals include acute care, long-term acute care, critical access, rehabilitation, psychiatric, government, and children’s hospitals.