NH DHHS - Releases First Healthcare-Associated Infections Report

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today released the 2009 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Report based on data from the 31 hospitals in the State. The report, mandated by law, looks at central line–associated bloodstream infections, central line insertion practices, surgical site infections following heart, colon, and knee surgeries, and staff influenza vaccination rates.

Overall, statewide infection rates were lower than expected based on national data. A total of 134 HAIs were reported, representing 110 surgical site infections and 24 central line-associated bloodstream infections.

The overall observed number of HAIs in New Hamsphire hospitals was 26% lower than expected based on national data; there were 46% fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections and 19% fewer surgical site infections. Statewide adherence to all four infection-prevention practices during central line insertions was 93%.

Staff influenza vaccination rates ranged from 40% to 96.9% with an overall State rate of 70.6%.

“I want to commend the hospitals for all of their hard work over the past three years of implementing these new requirements,” said Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “It has been a long process for everyone involved but the resulting report is of great value to the Department, the hospitals themselves, and the citizens of New Hampshire.”

“We are highly encouraged by the fact that fewer infections were reported than expected,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “Because this information has never been collected, compared, and presented before in this fashion, it is reassuring to know that no systemic problems were detected.

There are certainly areas where improvements can be made for the sake of patients and the citizens of New Hampshire, and we will be working with hospitals as they make any changes going forward.”

To view the report, go to www.dhhs.nh.gov.