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Healthcare-Associated Infection Data Reports

A major part of quality healthcare includes protecting patients from infections while they get medical care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home, and other settings. Without this protection, infections themselves can become deadly, and strides made in modern medicine are greatly undermined. The United States has made significant progress toward our collective goal of eliminating healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), and as a result, healthcare in the U.S. is safer now than it was even 10 years ago. Building upon this success and continuing towards the elimination of HAIs is critical.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination (HAI Action Plan), which set specific five-year goals for HAI prevention. CDC plays an important role in this plan by producing data that prompts action, leading the country in tracking, preventing and ultimately eliminating HAIs. This data also helps pinpoint areas of further improvement that allows for the continued progress.

Additionally, CDC and other federal agencies such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) work together to develop tools, recommendations, and programs that offer infection prevention strategies to help protect patients.

CDC publishes yearly reports to help each state better understand their progress and target areas that need assistance.  The data used in these comes from two complementary HAI surveillance systems, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections Community-Interface (EIP HAIC).

The year 2015 marked the start of the new five-year (2015-2020) goals of the HAI Action Plan and a time of important updates and improvements for NHSN. This provided an opportunity to assess prevention progress while strategizing about the best way to move forward as a country. The summary of progress and next steps can be found in the reports below.

Healthcare-associated Infections in the United States, 2006-2016: A Story of Progress

In Healthcare-associated Infections in the United States, 2006-2016: A Story of Progress, CDC uses NHSN, EIP, and HAI prevalence survey data to examine the nation’s progress preventing five of the most common infections:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Select surgical site infections (SSI)
  • Hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections (CDI)
  • Hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (bloodstream infections)

The 2015 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Data Report

The 2015 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Data Report looks at individual state and national standardized infection ratios (SIRs), the summary statistic used to track HAI prevention progress over time, using the new national 2015 baseline. To coincide with the new, five-year (2015-2020) goals stated in the HAI Action Plan, the 2015 baseline will be used for all HAI measures beginning with data reported to NHSN in 2015.

This report does not compare national or state-specific SIRs in 2015 to SIRs from 2014.

National 2015 Standardized Infection Ratios (SIRs) Calculated Using Historical Baselines

One element of the updates and improvements to NHSN was resetting the baseline used to measure HAI progress. Before 2015, the baselines, or reference points, varied among the different HAI measures (e.g. several infections had different baselines). Also, because so much progress was made and norms for HAI prevention were more advanced, it no longer made sense to compare recent progress against older baselines. Periodic rebaselining is and will continue to be important to help continue the progress of preventing HAIs.

In National 2015 Standardized Infection Ratios (SIRs) Calculated Using Historical Baselines, CDC reviews and provides in-depth details about infection definition changes within NHSN that impacted data during that time period.