Today, the 2011 report on New York State Hospital-Acquired Infections was released. This is another example of the public reporting that hospitals and health care providers are increasing becoming accustomed to. It is also probably one of the better examples where attention to a perceived quality problem can cause a change in behavior and an improvement in the quality of care.
Since New York State began to publically report hospital-acquired infections, central line associated blood stream infections have declined by 41%, and surgical site infections have declined by 13%. The public reporting allows us to look at our own outcomes year to year, as well as allowing us to compare ourselves to state standards and to other in our community.
Overall, University Hospital fares very well. Our infection rates in nearly all areas are at or below community and state standards. There is only one area where our infection rate stands out above the state average. This is in the area of central line infections in the Pediatric ICU. This is old data to us, and much work has gone into ensuring that in recent months and years, that this clinical issue is resolved. I am pleased to say that the Pediatric ICU has now gone 405 consecutive days without a catheter related blood stream infection.
The report overall demonstrates, our excellent results, and the an example of an area where we had improvement to be made, and which we have accomplished. These are all good examples of how daily attention to continual improvement in our processes can improve patient care.
While the report NYS HAI 2011 Report is rather long, it is worth a perusal.
It is also important that all of us at University Hospital commit to continue to care for patients in a way that we “do no harm”, and that avoidable infections and other complications are prevented. Certainly, in the area of hospital-acquired infections, the continual oversight by the State of New York, and it’s very public reporting seems to be helping us to achieve this important goal.