Healthcare-associated infections decreased significantly in 1 year, according to the recent annual progress report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provides national-level and state-level data on the incidence of infections from 2021 to 2022.
However, improvements in patient care practices in healthcare facilities in the United States are still needed. Each day, approximately 1 in 31 patients and 1 in 43 nursing home residents contract at least one infection associated with their care, the report states.
The goal of the CDC is to eliminate healthcare-associated infections. This requires the collaboration of local, state, and federal public health agencies and their healthcare partners to implement prevention initiatives that sustain improvements and to monitor infections, the report explains.
Healthcare providers must reinforce infection prevention and control practices in their facilities, regularly review surveillance data to identify areas that need to be improved, and address any gaps in prevention practices, the report emphasizes.
Data on select healthcare-associated infections were obtained from more than 38,000 acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term acute care hospitals.
In acute care hospitals, there was a 9% decrease in central line–associated bloodstream infections from 2021 to 2022, a 12% decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and a 19% decrease in ventilator-associated events.
There was also a 3% decrease in hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile from 2021 to 2022 in acute care hospitals, and from 2015 to 2022, there was a decrease in the incidence of C difficile infections in all 52 states and territories.
The report also provides data on surgical-site infections and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, among others, by healthcare facility and state, and provides information on reporting mandates and data-validation efforts in each state and some US territories.
In response to the report findings, Deborah Yokoe, MD, MPH, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), issued a statement: “Under the leadership of healthcare 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.”
Hospitals should continue to prioritize this work and invest in the resources needed to implement and sustain effective infection prevention strategies, she said, including those highlighted in the SHEA’s Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals. “This is essential for safe, high-quality healthcare.”