Friday, March 11, 2016

Reducing Hospital Acquired Infections – GBMC is a Leader

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, recently released their progress report on hospital acquired infection rates for calendar year 2014 and on changes in these rates from those reported for calendar 2013. You can see how an individual hospital (including GBMC) performed on the Hospital Compare website:

Hospital infection control leaders collect data and report to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) at the CDC and the NHSN then severity adjusts the data and converts the raw rates into standardized infection rates so that hospitals and states can be compared one to another.

Among national acute care hospitals, the highlights of the report include (taken from the CDC website):
 --A 50 percent decrease in CLABSI (central line associated bloodstream infections) between 2008 and 2014.
--No change in overall CAUTI (catheter associated urinary tract infections) between 2009 and 2014.  But there was some progress in non-ICU settings between 2009 and 2014, progress in all settings between 2013 and 2014, and even more progress in all settings towards the end of 2014
--A 17 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in previous reports.
--A 17 percent decrease in abdominal hysterectomy SSI between 2008 and 2014
--A 2 percent decrease in colon surgery SSI between 2008 and 2014
--An 8 percent decrease in C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2014  
--A 13 percent decrease in MRSA bacteremia between 2011 and 2014

So it is clear that American hospitals are safer and more infection free than they have ever been. This is excellent news for patients.

GBMC has made outstanding progress in all of the measured infections. We have a statistically better than the national average performance in CAUTI’s (catheter associated urinary tract infections) and continuing to improve and as good as the national average in all of the other infections.

This is not the case for Maryland as a state. When the performance of all Maryland hospitals is averaged together, Maryland has plenty of room for improvement compared to many other states. 

I was on a phone conference with other Maryland hospital leaders this week to consider how we can reduce Maryland’s CAUTI rate that is 35% higher than the national baseline and that has not improved between 2013 and 2014. We also discussed reducing multi-resistant staphylococcal bacteremia because Maryland’s rate is 22% higher than the national baseline and our clostridium difficile infection rate which is 20% higher than the national baseline. Both of these facts are a call to action to reduce the misuse of antibiotics, a main cause of multi-resistance and of c. difficile infections in general.

I want to thank all of our GBMC physicians, nurses and advanced practitioners for their great care and everyone at GBMC, but especially our environmental service workers, for keeping our clinical areas clean to reduce the spread of germs! 

March is Professional Social Work month and I want to thank our dedicated group of social workers who serve GBMC.  I am constantly impressed and humbled by the creativity and determination of this group. Our social workers carefully arrange for care of patients after they leave the hospital. Our social workers and care managers have helped GBMC reach the lowest readmission rate in the state and have designed a system that assures that our patients with advanced illness receive the continued support they need after they leave our hospital. Please take the time to say “thank you” for all they do!

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