Kansas Hospitals Succeeding in the Fight Against Healthcare-Associated Infections

In late September, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) released the first statewide report on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), highlighting Kansas hospitals’ successful efforts to reduce the occurrence of this public health problem.

The report shows reductions in two important HAIs in intensive care unit settings: central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Sixty-five Kansas hospitals voluntarily shared HAI data monthly with KDHE, January through December 2011.

The report suggests that in 2011, Kansas facilities had significantly fewer HAIs than expected. Specifically, data indicate that Kansas facilities had 67 percent fewer blood stream infections from central-line devices and 26 percent fewer urinary tract infections from urinary catheter devices as compared to national reference data.

When compared to IPPS hospital ICUs across the country, Kansas had fewer CLABSIs and CAUTIs, and used fewer central lines and fewer urinary catheter devices in 2011. In addition, Kansas is on track to meet the US Department of Health and Human Services 2013 target goals of a 50 percent reduction in CLABSIs and a 25 percent reduction in CAUTIS from 2006-2008 levels.

The report is available online at www.kdheks.gov/epi/hai.htm. In addition, a companion document, specifically designed for patients, is also available at www.kdheks.gov/epi/hai.htm. State health officials released the report during the Central Plains Expo in Wichita, an annual educational conference for staff and management in infection control, environmental services, sterile processing, and materials management.

Partners in the effort with KDHE include the Kansas Hospital Association, the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, and the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative.