Utah hospitals show some improvement on patient infections

Good news for Utah hospitals. A new report shows a decrease of reports of some healthcare-associated infections (HAI).

The report looks at specific types of infections including central line-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections from colon and hysterectomy operations, as well as MRSA and C. diff infections.

The report found compared to the national data, in 2016 patients in Utah reported 18% fewer blood stream infections and 38% fewer MRSA bacteremia infections but had an increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections and infections in surgical sites.

“Once health care systems recognize the infection burden, they can work to promote proven interventions and prevention strategies.,” HAI Program Manager Karen Singson said.

To read the entire report click here.

To decrease your chance for contracting an HAI the health department recommends the following:

• Be your own advocate.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so you may fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. You will be able to recover easier, and your family and friends can be more helpful, once you know what is to be expected.

• If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell your nurse promptly if the dressing works loose or gets wet.

• Likewise, if you have a dressing on a wound, let your nurse know promptly if it works loose or gets wet.

• If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.

• If you are having surgery, ask if you should shower with a germ-killing soap before the operation.

• Clean your hands properly and make sure everyone else around you does too.

• If your room looks dirty, ask to have it cleaned.

• Every day, ask if you still need your catheter or other device.

• Ask about safe injection practices: One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time.

• Take medications only as directed.

• If possible, ask your friends and relatives not to visit if they feel ill.

For more information about HAIs, visit http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/. 

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