Healthcare associated infections still a public health risk


Although significant progress has been made, healthcare associated infections (HAIs) remain a public health risk in healthcare settings. In 2013, 424 acute care hospitals reported 18,780 HAI to CDPH.

That is the key finding of the Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) in California Hospitals Annual Report for 2013, released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

In addition, the CDPH published the influenza vaccination among health care personnel in California hospitals for the 2013-14 respiratory influenza season.

This is the fifth year CDPH has published hospital-specific infection incidence data and the sixth year CDPH has published HCP influenza vaccination rate data from California hospitals. Hospital reporting compliance has increased to 99 percent for HAI and 100 percent for HCP influenza vaccination.

With the exception of C. difficile diarrheal infections, which have increased 5 percent since 2011, the report shows that overall, California hospitals have demonstrated progress in preventing HAI as compared to national and state baselines. The report highlights 61 hospitals that demonstrated significant reductions in HAI from 2012 to 2013.

The CDPH is now contacting hospitals with high infection incidence to ensure they are aware of and responding to the need for improvement. CDPH is also providing assistance and support to hospitals for implementation of prevention action plans. The department has identified 112 hospitals with high HAI incidence and targeted them for consultations.

According to the report, hospitals also continue to make progress in their HCP vaccination coverage, with 85 percent of California hospitals achieving more than 60 percent vaccination among employees compared to 71 percent in 2012-13, in the 2013-14 influenza season.

For the first time, the HAI data will be available on mobile devices by an enhanced interactive map designed to help the public interpret hospital-specific findings. In addition, hospital HAI profiles have also been added to the interactive map this year resulting in all infection findings from each hospital appearing on a single page. 

HAI, CDPH, California Hospitals Annual Report, Risk Management, US