Author: SHEA
Date Published:3/26/2014 12:36:00 PM
Publication Format:
Abstract:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2014 

Contact: Kristy Weinshel
(703) 684-1008
kweinshel@shea-online.org

Healthcare-Associated Infections Reduced in U.S.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America comments on new CDC data

March 26, 2014 (Arlington, Va) – Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing national progress in the fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  National trends show a decrease in reported HAIs, including reduced prevalence of central line-associated bloodstream infections, hospital-onset MRSA, C. difficile infections, and infections related to 10 surgical procedures.

"This progress is the direct result of the ongoing efforts of healthcare workers across the country who are dedicated to improving patient care and outcomes," said Daniel Diekema, MD, president, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.  

According to the CDC, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay every day.  Further statistics released based on 2011 data, highlight the fact that approximately one in 25 U.S. patients contracts at least one infection during the course of their hospital care on a daily basis, totaling about 722,000 infections in 2011 alone. 

"While these trends are promising evidence of progress, more work needs to be done to further reduce HAIs," said Diekema. "As these results reveal, our greatest progress has been in the reduction of infections for which prevention approaches have been well studied.  For many other HAIs, we must still make progress in understanding what prevention approaches work.  More funding for HAI prevention research is essential to make this happen." 

To ensure patients' safety and reduce HAIs in healthcare settings, SHEA encourages following standard infection control practices and evidence-based guidelines. This includes a strong emphasis on hand hygiene and curbing unnecessary use of antibiotics to ensure their efficacy in the future.  Many of these standard infection control procedures can and should be applied for use in all patient care settings.

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SHEA is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals globally with expertise in and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society promotes science and research, develops expert guidelines and guidance for healthcare workers, provides high-quality education, promotes antimicrobial stewardship, encourages transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, works to ensure a safe healthcare environment, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge. SHEA upholds the value and critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology to improving patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.