December 07, 2023

2 min read

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Key takeaways:

  • Acute-care hospitals saw significant improvement in many hospital-associated infection rates in 2022.
  • Other types of health care facilities did not see improvements, the CDC found.

Hospital-associated infections declined significantly at acute-care hospitals in 2022, although rates at other health care facilities remained relatively stagnant, according to a CDC report.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report showed progress in several areas of preventing health care-associated infections (HAIs), especially at acute care hospitals (ACHs), according to the CDC, although the report also showed areas that need improvement.

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Acute-care hospitals showed significant improvement in hospital-associated infection rates from 2021 to 2022, according to a new CDC report. Image: Adobe Stock

Between 2021 and 2022, overall rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), ventilator-associated events (VAE), hospital onset MRSA bloodstream events and Clostridioides difficile events decreased at ACHs, according to the report.

“Under the leadership of health care epidemiologists and infection preventionists, acute care facilities have made substantial progress in shifting attention that was understandably focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic back to broader infection prevention initiatives that protect our patients from a wide range of infections,” Deborah Yokoe, MD, MPH, FSHEA, FIDSA, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, said in a statement.

Using data from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, which includes reports from more than 38,000 health care facilities in the United States, researchers calculated national rates for CLABSI, CAUTI, VAE, SSI, C. difficile (CDI) and MRSA for ACHs, critical access hospitals (CAHs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).

The report showed “little progress” in reducing HAIs at CAHs, IRFs and LTACHs, aside from a 9% decrease in CDI at IRFs.

Significant decreases were seen, however, at ACHs, including a 9% decrease in CLABSI, 12% decrease in CAUTI, 19% decrease in VAE, 16% decrease in MRSA and a 3% decrease in hospital-onset CDI. There were no significant changes in the rates of SSI after nine of 10 tracked procedures. Hip arthroplasty SSIs increased 8%.

Overall, 31 states showed improvements in at least two infection types, whereas three performed worse. In comparison to the national 2015 baseline, the CDC reported that all 50 states have performed better on at least two types of infection, and eight have performed worse on at least two types of infection.

Even with the progress shown in the 2022 report, the CDC noted that one in 31 patients at health care facilities and one in 43 nursing home residents contracts an HAI each day. The new report, it said, underscores the need for improvement.

“Hospitals should continue to prioritize this work and invest in the resources needed to implement and sustain effective infection prevention strategies,” Yokoe said. “This is essential for safe, high-quality health care.”



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