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Oregon hospitals make progress in infection prevention, report shows

But more work needed on curbing incidence of deadly CLABSI, C. diff infections

Oregon hospitals met national prevention targets for central line-associated bloodstream infections in adult and pediatric intensive care units and wards, but fell short in neonatal intensive care units, according to a new state report on health care-associated infections.

“Health Care-Associated Infections: 2016 Oregon Annual Report” was published today by the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program at the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. It examines data on health care-associated infections that Oregon hospitals were required to report to OHA in 2016. It contains HAI data for 61 individual hospitals and 60 freestanding dialysis facilities in Oregon, and has aggregate summaries and facility-specific data for Oregon hospitals’ performance on 10 categories of HAIs, with national benchmarks for comparison.

The 2016 report found that hospitals around the state also performed well in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in adult and pediatric wards and ICUs compared with peers around the country. Performance compared to national estimates for hospital-onset bacterial infections, including Clostridium difficile and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), remained stable.

Hospitals demonstrated ongoing improvements in preventing surgical site infections following heart, laminectomy, and hysterectomy surgeries. But they didn’t meet 2013 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) targets for reducing surgical site infections following hip- and knee-replacement surgeries.

Becca Pierce, Ph.D., Oregon HAI Program manager, says Oregon continued to exceed the 50 percent HHS reduction target for central line-associated bloodstream infections, also known as CLABSIs, in adult and pediatric settings, observing 59 percent fewer infections than were predicted from national data. Oregon remains a high-performing outlier in the fight against catheter-associated urinary tract infections, seeing 36 percent fewer infections than predicted based on national baselines and showing progressive declines since 2014.

“We’re still seeing a problem with CLABSIs in neonatal ICUs, where extremely vulnerable patients are cared for,” Pierce said. “There’s also more work to be done to prevent C. difficile and surgical site infections at joint prosthesis sites.”

She noted that inappropriate or excessive antibiotic use is a major driver of C. difficile infection, which causes hundreds of thousands of infections and tens of thousands of deaths every year.

HAIs occur during or after treatment for other medical conditions. HAIs are potentially life-threatening, and are preventable. About one in every 25 patients in the hospital will develop an HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To address HAIs, OHA implements a mandatory HAI reporting program that raises awareness of HAIs, promotes transparency of health care information and helps hospitals reducing and prevent HAIs. The HAI Program supports numerous committees and networks working to detect and contain HAIs in Oregon. It also works to prevent spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms during patient transfers between health care facilities by ensuring communication between medical providers, and works to raise awareness among patients and health care providers about infection control practices that save lives.

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 Media contact

Jonathan Modie

OHA External Relations


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