Wednesday, May 1, 2013

UDOH Issues Report on Healthcare Associated Infections

(Salt Lake City, UT) – For the first time ever, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) has released a hospital-specific report of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in licensed hospitals* with intensive care units (ICUs). The report provides information on central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). CLABSIs may occur in patients who have a central venous catheter, also known as a central line, in place. A central line is a tube that is placed in a large vein in the neck, chest, groin, or arm to give fluids, blood, or medications.

Dr. Allyn Nakashima, UDOH State Epidemiologist says, “We worked with our advisory group, the Utah Healthcare Infection Prevention Governance Committee (UHIP GC), to provide useful information to consumers, and we believe that publicly releasing hospital data is an important step in improving safety and quality of care for patients in Utah.” 

In 2011, overall results show that Utah hospitals performed better when compared to other hospitals nationally. Of the 60 licensed hospitals in Utah, 25 facilities have intensive care units. Of these 25 facilities, 11 facilities did not have enough patients with central line catheters to provide an accurate assessment of their performance. Fourteen had sufficient numbers of patients with central line catheters and identified 96 CLABSIs. When compared to what was predicted nationally, three facilities had significantly fewer infections and only one facility had significantly more infections.

“Utah’s hospitals constantly strive to improve their care and provide better outcomes for their patients,” said Rod Betit, President and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association. "A zero infection rate is the goal of every Utah hospital. Collecting and reporting this central line infection data should give Utahns confidence that they are receiving excellent care.” 

Betit adds, “The data also allow us to identify ‘best practices’ that can be adopted by all Utah hospitals to further reduce the chance of an infection among patients using central lines as a part of their course of care.”

The UDOH first released CLABSI data for Utah hospitals in 2008, but previous reports did not identify facilities by name. However, during the 2012 Utah Legislative Session, lawmakers passed House Bill (HB) 55 which requires the Department provide an annual report on facility-specific data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). NHSN is a web-based surveillance and reporting system specifically used to report HAIs and is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“We are encouraging and facilitating collaborations among health care facilities across the state to identify infection control strategies to prevent healthcare associated infections,” said Dr. Jeanmarie Mayer, Chair, UHIP GC.                                  

The Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Utah 2011 Annual and 2012 Interim Report includes a full year of reported CLABSI data for 2011. UDOH will release data for 2012 this October. Thereafter, annual reports will be published every October. Future reports will also include information for all infections required to be reported to NHSN by CMS according to the CMS Healthcare Facility HAI Reporting Requirements timeline.  A copy of the report is available at

*Licensed hospitals include acute care, long-term acute care, critical access, rehabilitation, psychiatric, government, and children’s hospitals. 

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.