Report Shows NH Hospitals At or Below National Averages for Infections
August 05, 2011
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has issued its second-annual Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Report, showing that standardized infection ratios around the state are at or below national ratios for expected overall numbers of healthcare-associated infections, and that Dartmouth-Hitchcock is significantly below the national average.
The report, released August 4, summarizes HAI-related data reported by New Hampshire hospitals, the result of a 2006 state law requiring all hospitals to identify, track, and report selected HAIs to the Department of Health and Human Services.
HAI is an infection that a patient acquires during the course of receiving treatment for another condition within a healthcare setting. HAIs cause an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths each year in the United States resulting in over $30 billion in excess healthcare costs.
Overall, statewide infection rates are showing improvement over last year. A total of 114 HAIs were reported for 2010, compared with 134 in 2009. The overall observed number of HAIs in New Hampshire hospitals was 39% lower than expected based on national data; there were 55% fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections and 35% fewer surgical site infections.
"This year's report shows that, across the state, we're seeing continued improvement in patient safety and quality," said NH Deputy State Epidemiologist Jodie Dionne-Odom, an infectious disease specialist at DHMC. "At a time when all of our hospitals are challenged by increasing demand, the continuing commitment to quality and safety is great news for our health care providers and the people of New Hampshire who rely on us for their health and well being."
DHMC's overall number of infections is 64 percent fewer than expected based on national data and 33 percent lower than expected statewide; DHMC was one of only five hospitals in New Hampshire with lower than expected overall infection numbers. Between 2009 and 2010, DHMC's number of health care associated infections decreased by 44 percent.
The report measures data across six areas: overall infection rates, central line-associated bloodstream infections, central line insertion practices, surgical site infections (including coronary bypass, knee arthroplasty, and colon procedures), surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis administration, and influenza vaccination rates in hospital staff.
In addition to the improvement in overall infections, DHMC's performance improved in three other areas over 2009: central line insertion practices (CLIP), in surgical site infections (SSI) and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABI). Adherence to standards for CLIP improved six percent over last year, to 95.7 percent. The rate of SSI dropped by 29 percent from last year, and rates of CLABI dropped by 61 percent between 2009 and 2010.
Although DHMC's staff influenza vaccination rates slightly trailed the state average, the percentage of staff receiving flu vaccination increased, to 75.3 percent in 2010 from 70.5 percent in 2009.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in evidence-based and patient-centered health care. The system includes hundreds of physicians, specialists, and other providers who work together at different locations to meet the health care needs of patients in northern New England. In addition to primary care services at local community practices, Dartmouth-Hitchcock patients have access to specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at Dartmouth Medical School and centers of excellence including The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI).
For more information contact Rick Adams at (603) 653-1913.