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Friday, October 4, 2013

Alaska has highest rate of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) in the country, and Maryland has highest rate of Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections.


According to the latest data I could find (last updated July 2013) Alaska has the highest rate of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) in the country. CLABSI is only one of many hospital acquired infections. Here is the brief explanation of the data from CMS:
The Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) measures - state data. These measures are developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and collected through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). They provide information on infections that occur while the patient is in the hospital. These infections can be related to devices, such as central lines and urinary catheters, or spread from patient to patient after contact with an infected person or surface. Many healthcare associated infections can be prevented when the hospitals use CDC-recommended infection control steps.
There are four main Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) being measured:
  1. HAI-1-SIR. Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI)
  2. HAI-2-SIR. Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
  3. HAI-3-SIR. Surgical Site Infections from colon surgery (SSI: Colon)
  4. HAI-4-SIR. Surgical Site Infections from abdominal hysterectomy (SSI: Hysterectomy)
There is a very good explanation of the calculation methodology for Standardized Infection Ratios (SIR) on the Leapfrog website. Essentially, Alaska's score of 1.495 means that CLABSI is 49.5% more common in Alaska than expected number for the standard population.

Why are Hospital Acquired Infections important? There are many reasons, but the key reasons are that they cause harm to patients, they are preventable, and they cost a lot of money to treat.

I've created an interactive chart where you can look into the data more closely by either bar chart or map.
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