Thursday, November 3, 2016

Utah Hospitals Show Some Improvement on ​ Healthcare-associated Infections

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) has released the 2015 hospital-specific report of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in licensed hospitals.* The report provides information on specific types of HAIs that are reportable in Utah, including central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), surgical site infections (SSIs) associated with colon surgeries and abdominal hysterectomies, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia infections.

Utah State regulation (Rule 386‐705, Epidemiology, Healthcare-associated Infection) requires the UDOH to collect and report data on HAIs. The Utah data are self-reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) by each facility that is required to report HAIs by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Compared to national baseline data, patients in Utah facilities that reported 2015 HAI data to NHSN experienced:

51% fewer CLABSI
15% fewer CAUTI
9% more surgical site infections within 30 days of colon surgery
11% more surgical site infections within 30 days of abdominal hysterectomy
22% fewer C. difficile infections
35% fewer MRSA bacteremia infections.

“Utah continues to see improvement in reducing HAIs in areas such as CLABSI and CAUTI, but lags behind in surgical site infections associated with colon surgery and abdominal hysterectomy,”
​ ​
says Karen Singson, HAI Program Manager. “UDOH continues to work with facilities to ensure accurate reporting and focus on prevention strategies to reduce the potential for HAIs.”
The annual HAI report contains information for all infections required to be reported to NHSN by CMS according to the CMS Healthcare Facility HAI Reporting Requirements timeline. To read the entire HAI Report,

Patients can decrease the potential for contracting an HAI by following these recommendations:

Speak up for your care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so that you may fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. You will be able to recover easier, and your family and friends can be more helpful, if you know what is to be expected.
If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell your nurse promptly if the dressing works loose or gets wet.
Likewise, if you have a dressing on a wound, let your nurse know promptly if it works loose or gets wet.
If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.
If you are having surgery, ask if you should shower with a germ-killing soap ahead of time.
Clean your hands properly and make sure everyone else around you does too.
If your room looks dirty, ask to have it cleaned.
Every day, ask if you still need your catheter or other device.
Ask about safe injection practices: One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time.
Take medications only as directed.
If possible, ask your friends and relatives not to visit if they feel ill.

For more information about HAIs, visit

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

Media Contact:
Rebecca Ward
(o) 801.538.6682
(m) 801.352.1270