Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Despite Progress, More Work Still Needed to Prevent Infections

Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Despite Progress, More Work Still Needed to Prevent Infections

Article excerpt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that while progress is being made to prevent health care-associated infections (HAIs), continued gains will require vigilance by clinical and environmental services (ES) staff.

The CDC's recent "National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report" shows that reductions were reported for nearly all infections between 2011 and 2012, including two particularly impacted by hand hygiene and environmental cleaning.

Reductions include a 4 percent drop in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and a 2 percent decrease in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections between 2011 and 2012.

Overall health care-associated invasive MRSA has decreased 31 percent since 2008, based on surveillance that predates the HAI progress report, CDC states.

The decrease in C. difficile infections, however, fell far short of the 25 percent reduction that was targeted for the 2013 reporting year.

The report helps to measure progress toward the five-year HAI prevention goals outlined in the "National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination" set in 2009 by Health & Human Services.

"We have more we need to do with C. difficile, it's at historic highs," says Cliff McDonald, M.D., medical epidemiologist, division of health care quality promotion, CDC.

McDonald says there is good news associated even with the small decrease. …

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