U.S. Hospitals Get Better at Preventing Infections

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Hospitals in the United States have made progress in lowering the rates of infections patients get while they are there, according to a new report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Wednesday showed that hospitals have cut down on infections caused by medical mistakes and bacteria. Between 2008 and 2013, there’s been a 46% decrease in bloodstream infections caused by germs getting into the blood when tubes are inserted into veins incorrectly. During the same period, hospitals cut surgical site infections by 19%, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 6%.

“Hospitals have made real progress to reduce some types of healthcare-associated infections—it can be done,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. “The key is for every hospital to have rigorous infection control programs to protect patients and healthcare workers, and for health care facilities and others to work together to reduce the many types of infections that haven’t decreased enough.”

The data come from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), which tracks infections nationwide from over 14,500 health care facilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

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