Daily Briefing Blog

A look at hospital infection rates in your state


Juliette Mullin, Editor

CDC last week offered the most comprehensive look to date at health care-acquired infection rates. In a broad look at national rates published in NEJM, the agency revealed that one in 25 hospital patients acquires an infection during their stay in 2011. An alarming satistic—but it's getting better, says the agency.

A separate CDC report also released last week showed progress on most infections:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) decreased by 44% from 2008 to 2012;
  • Infections from common surgical procedures declined by 20% over the same period;
  • Hospital-onset MRSA bloodstream infections decreased by 4% from 2011 to 2012; and
  • Hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections decreased by 2% from 2011 to 2012.

However, CDC did find an increase in the rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), which rose by 3% from 2009 to 2012.

Take a more detailed look at the national data

Looking at the state data

A closer look at the state-level data tells a more complicated story.

Although the CDC report didn't offer specific infection rates for each state, it did show us how each state's rate in 2012 compares to the national rate from 2008. Here's a look at how much each state is improving when it comes to CLABSIs:

The map reflects the nation's broader improvements on CLABSIs. Every state except Alaska is doing better on CLABSI rates than the national rate in 2008, with one state (Wyoming) doing 84% better than the 2008 rate.

(According to CDC, CLABSI rates in Alaska are 11% higher than the 2008 national rate.)

But the progress on CAUTIs is much less promising:

According to the CDC, the CAUTI rate in 2012 was higher than the 2009 national average in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In four states, the 2012 CAUTI rate was more than 80% higher than 2009 national rate.



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