A new report released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that Alabama was one of only two states in the nation performing better than the national infection rate on three to four infection categories.
The report provided state-by-state analysis on four different categories of infections reported to the CDC's infection database. The CDC used 2012 data to compare the state's infection rate to the national baseline. Alabama and California were the only two states in the nation to perform better than the national baseline in three of the four categories. There was not a state that performed better in all four categories.
"The CDC's report underscores what we've already identified in our state, which is significant progress in infection prevention," said State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson. "Our department began providing a state level report on hospital infection rates in 2011, and while our report was slightly different than the federal report in terms of the units reported, we looked at the same infection categories."
According to the CDC report, Alabama performed better than the rest of the nation on catheter-associated urinary tract infections and two types of surgical site infections, one from colon surgery and one from abdominal hysterectomies. The only category that the state did not perform on the national baseline was central line-associated blood stream infections.
"Alabama's success is primarily due to collaboration," said L. Keith Granger, CEO of Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham and chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association's Quality Task Force. "For the past 10 years, we've worked with our state's largest insurer and an automated infection surveillance product to provide hospitals with real time data to help prevent the spread of infections. It's truly been a team effort."
The Alabama Department of Public Health comments Alabama's hospitals for their outstanding work to prevent healthcare related infections. The fight against infections is far from over, and all parties agree that continued vigilance is needed.
Hospital-specific infection rates can be found at www.jointhehealthjourney.com.
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