Vermont Hospitals Show Low Infection Rate in CDC National Healthcare Safety Network Report

Dean Mudgett, 802-828-4872
Thu, 05/27/2010

Montpelier, VT – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) released its “First State-Specific Healthcare-Associated Infections Summary Data Report”, which gives an overview of where the country stands in efforts to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). The report is based on both national and state-specific CLABSI data collected by NHSN.

The NHSN report looked at CLABSI data from January – June 2009. During that time, Vermont hospitals reported CLABSI rates that were among the lowest of the seventeen states that were included in the report, and that were significantly lower than the report’s standardized infection ratio baseline of 1.0. Vermont’s ratio for the period reported was 0.27.
 
“This report is good news for Vermonters who depend on Vermont hospitals to provide quality health care services and treatment,” said Paulette J. Thabault, Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration. “Vermont's leadership in this area has been the result of extraordinary collaboration between consumer advocates, the Legislature, hospital infection preventionists, the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, and state agencies.”
 
Jill Olson, Vice President of Policy and Operations at the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, echoed Thabault’s sentiment about the dedication and effort responsible for the positive results reported by NHSN. “Vermont's results are a credit to the physicians and nurses who take care of Vermonters every day, and to the dedicated hospital infection preventionists who help bring medical evidence into practice at the bedside.” 
 
“This is real health care reform: quality and safety improvements for patients. Vermont’s excellent performance demonstrates the importance of transparency and public reporting in spurring quality improvement. It’s a proud day for consumer advocates, hospitals and BISHCA here in Vermont,” said Jeanne Keller, who represents a small business association, Business Resource Services, on the Hospital Report Card Advisory Panel.
 
Vermont was the third state in the country to publicly report hospital-specific CLABSI rates, beginning in 2007, as part of health care quality improvement efforts overseen by BISHCA. Vermont hospitals have participated in the NHSN system since 2006, and Vermont was the first state to utilize the system for public reporting. The CLABSI report is part of BISHCA’s annual Hospital Report Card, which can be found on the BISHCA website. A copy of the NHSN report is also available on BISHCA’s site.
 
According to the CDC, an estimated 248,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year. It is believed that a large proportion of these are associated with the presence of a central line – a flexible tube inserted near the heart or into one of the large veins or arteries, and used to administer medication or fluids, obtain blood tests, and directly obtain cardiovascular measurements. Because of where central lines are located, they can cause potentially dangerous bloodstream infections. Bloodstream infections can cause longer hospital stays, increased costs and increased risk of mortality. CLABSI can be prevented through proper management of central lines.
 
About BISHCA
The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration touches most Vermonters in some fashion, through its regulation and monitoring of a broad spectrum of financial and health industry activities. Regulated entities/areas include, for example: banks, licensed lenders, credit unions, insurance companies and their products, agents, securities firms, broker/dealers and investment advisors, HMO's and hospital finances.
 
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