NH DHHS - Third Annual Healthcare-Associated Infections Report Released

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today released the 2011

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Report based on data from the 31

hospitals in the State. The report, mandated by law, looks at the rates of

specific HAIs: central line–associated bloodstream infections and surgical

site infections following heart, colon, and knee surgeries. The report also

provides data on hospitals’ compliance with measures that are put in place

to protect patients from acquiring infections in the hospital. These

include infection prevention practices during central line insertions, the

appropriate use of antimicrobials during surgical procedures, and influenza

vaccination rates among hospital staff.

Overall, statewide infection rates are showing improvement compared with

national data. A total of 110 HAIs were reported for 2011, compared with

114 in 2010 and 134 in 2009. The overall observed number of HAIs in New

Hampshire hospitals was 40% lower than expected based on national data;

there were 42% fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections and 40%

fewer surgical site infections.

Statewide adherence to four infection-prevention practices during central

line insertions was 95.7% (similar to 2010). Antimicrobial prophylaxis was

given accurately more often than the national average (over 97%). The

overall staff influenza vaccination rate was 88.5%, which has been

significantly improving since 2008 and close to the Healthy People 2020

goal of 90%.

“The numbers are showing improvement over last year so we are encouraged by

that and hope to see continued improvement in the future,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “I know hospitals work hard

every day to deliver quality care to their patients, but systems and people

are not perfect. With the data we are gathering, we can all now see if and

where the issues are and improve care delivery for the people of New


The collection of the data is meant to be a tool for hospitals to track

their progress and identify areas that require special attention, for DHHS

to see where improvements can be made, and to help inform consumers.

To view the report, go to