Calif. Hospitals Prioritize Efforts To Curb Rates of Infections at Facilities
Hospitals across California increasingly are working to reduce the rates of infections acquired at their facilities, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
On Dec. 30, 2010, the California Department of Public Health released its first-ever report on infection rates at hundreds of general acute-care hospitals (Schoch , Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/22).
State officials have acknowledged that the report has several shortcomings because it was hindered by funding challenges, data collection problems and issues that prevented risk adjustment (Schoch, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/23).
Additional information on the state infection report is available from the Press-Enterprise (Schoch , Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/22).
Hospitals Taking Action
Prior to the release of DPH's report,Â some hospitals already were taking steps to reduce their infection rates.
For example, Riverside County Regional Medical Center identified infection problems after it began collecting data to submit to state and federal agencies. The hospital then implemented an action plan that included the use of antiseptics, checklists and masks.
The effort helped the medical center reduce catheter line infections from 50 during the first six months of 2009 to 17 during the same period a year later (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/23).
Meanwhile, City of Hope -- a 177-bed cancer center in Duarte -- launched new infection control efforts after hospital officials detected inconsistencies in employee protocol.
The hospital's infection control teamÂ facilitated training sessions for all registered nursesÂ with access to patients' central lines. The team alsoÂ started providingÂ nurses with infection counts in specific hospital units.
Infection rates at City of Hope have declined since the implementation of the new initiatives (Schoch , Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/22).
The California HealthCare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting contributed to this report. CHCF publishes California Healthline.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.