haiprogressreportLast month the CDC issued their updated National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report, which provides healthcare-associated infections data from 2013.  Overall, the report found improvements nationally in performance, with reductions in most categories.

Between 2012 and 2013, we reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections.  We’ve had significant improvements in central-line associated bloodstream infections in 2013 compared to the national baseline, which is important since these kinds of infections allow germs to enter directly into the bloodstream, leading to deadly infections.

Arizona is still recording higher infection ratios than the nation as a whole for other infection types.  For the first time, this year’s report included data on bloodstream infections due to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (otherwise known as MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections, so we’ll be able to track progress on those measures across future years.  Arizona had about as many infections as expected in each of these areas, so we have opportunities for improvement moving forward.

Lucky for Arizona, we have a dedicated team working on implementing evidence-based interventions to reduce infection rates.  Our Medical Facilities Licensing team, Healthcare Associated Infection Program, and all of our partners on the Advisory Committee and within healthcare facilities across the state have developed tools and facilitated trainings to improve infection prevention capacity in healthcare facilities statewide.  Through the continued efforts of these groups and momentum gained through State Health Improvement Plan efforts, next year’s report should continue to reflect improvements.