CDC Report: Changes in Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Prevalence Survey (2015), a multi-state survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine providing an updated national estimate of HAIs in U.S. hospitals. Results show patients were 16% less likely to have an HAI in 2015 than they were in 2011.

The HAI Prevalence Survey helps better understand the full spectrum of HAIs in hospitals, including those not traditionally tracked by CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The Prevalence Survey confirms the improvements and areas of progress seen through ongoing monitoring in NHSN, including those published earlier this year in CDC’s Healthcare-associated Infections in the United States, 2006-2016: A Story of Progress. The CDC HAI Prevalence Survey was conducted in partnership with the Emerging Infections Program (EIP), CDC’s network of state health departments, academic medical centers and other partners dedicated to improving surveillance, prevention, and control of emerging infectious diseases.

Key things to know

  • On any given day, approximately one in 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI. Fewer patients had HAIs in 2015 than in 2011, largely due to reductions in the prevalence of surgical-site and urinary tract infections.
  • The Prevalence Survey shows a decrease in device use such catheters, an important factor in the decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) from 24% in 2011 to 19% in 2015. Collaboration between CDC, CMS, AHRQ and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health driven by the Agency Priority Goal process helped inform and drive targeted CAUTI prevention efforts.
  • The Prevalence Survey also confirms areas where we are not seeing as much progress, such as in the prevention of difficile infections and pneumonia.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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