NH DHHS - Annual Hospital and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Healthcare-Associated Infections Reports Released

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

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) on Friday, August 1,

released the 2013 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Hospital Report

and the 2013 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Ambulatory Surgery

Center (ASC) Report based on data from the 33 hospitals and 27 ASCs

licensed in the state. The reports, mandated by law, report data on the

occurrence of specific HAIs. For hospitals, central line–associated

bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and

surgical site infections following certain heart, colon, abdominal

hysterectomy, and knee surgical procedures are reported. For ASCs, surgical

site infections following certain breast, hernia, and open reduction of

fracture surgical procedures are reported.

The reports also provide data on hospitals’ and ASCs’ compliance with

measures that help protect patients from healthcare-acquired infections.

These data include adherence to infection prevention practices during

central line insertions in hospitals, the appropriate use of antimicrobials

during surgical procedures in hospitals and ASCs, and influenza vaccination

rates among hospital and ASC healthcare personnel.

“The numbers for hospitals continue to show improvement and for the second

year ambulatory surgical centers are doing well compared with national

averages,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “We

know we have great hospitals and medical services in New Hampshire with

many dedicated medical personnel. But there is nothing like hard data to

find out how we are doing as a State and to make improvements to better

protect the health of New Hampshire’s citizens.”


Overall, statewide infection rates in hospitals are showing improvement

compared with national data. A total of 183 HAIs were reported by hospitals

in 2013, compared with 198 in 2012, 110 in 2011, 114 in 2010, and 134 in

2009. The increased number of infections reported in 2012–2013 was due to

the expansion of hospital reporting requirements in 2012. The overall

observed number of HAIs in New Hampshire hospitals was 30% lower than

predicted based on national data; there were also 66% fewer central

line-associated bloodstream infections and 32% fewer surgical site

infections than predicted. There were 4% more catheter-associated urinary

tract infections than predicted, but this difference is not statistically

significant and the number of infections observed is considered similar to

national data.

Statewide hospital adherence to four infection prevention practices during

central line insertions was 98.4%, a significant improvement from 2012.

Antimicrobial prophylaxis was given accurately over 98% of the time, more

often than the national average. The overall healthcare personnel influenza

vaccination rate in hospitals was 92.9%, which has been significantly

improving since 2008 and exceeds the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90%.

Ambulatory Surgery Centers:

Overall, statewide infection rates in ASCs are similar in comparison to

national data. A total of six surgical site infections were reported by

ASCs for 2013, compared with four in 2012. The overall observed number of

surgical site infections in New Hampshire ASCs was 25% fewer than predicted

based on national data; however, this difference is not significant and

considered similar to national data. Statewide ASC adherence to intravenous

antibiotic prophylaxis timing guidelines to prevent surgical site infection

was 98.3% (similar to 2012) and the overall staff influenza vaccination

rate was 88.7% (a significant increase from last year, during which the

rate was 83.5%).

The collection of the data is intended to be a tool for hospitals and

ambulatory surgery centers 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 reports, visit