Merced hospital hits goal of reduced infections
Hospitals in the central San Joaquin Valley are among the best and the worst at reducing health care associated infections, according to California public health officials.
Mercy Medical Center in Merced is among 16 hospitals in California to have achieved 2020 goals for reducing all types of infections, according to the California Department of Public Health’s 2018 report.
But Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno is among 12 hospitals that have been targeted for having multiple years of high central line associated bloodstream infections, which result when a tube is passed into a vein.
Of the 12 hospitals with high bloodstream infection rates, 10 improved and now meet national baseline standards, but Community is one of two hospitals, along with Los Angeles Olympia Medical Center, to continue to have a higher incidence of infections than national infection baselines in 2017.
By law, hospitals must report cases of five different health case associated infections: Clostridium difficile, a common cause of diarrhea in hospital settings, and two drug-resistant infections — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. Hospitals also must report infections that occur at surgery sites and central line bloodstream associated infections.
Public health officials said California hospitals in 2017 made the most progress in reducing infections since reporting began in 2009. In 2017, acutecare hospitals reported 2,602 fewer infections than in 2016. And statewide, reportable infections are now lower or “better” than 2015 national baselines. The most progress in fighting infections was seen in reducing C. difficile infections, which have decreased since 26 percent since 2015, the state said.
Although progress has been made in reducing hospital acquired infections in California and nationwide, they remain a problem. On any day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one health care associated infection, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the first time this year, California reported the progress that each hospital is making in reaching 2020 goals. The state said 40 hospitals, or 12 percent of 335 hospitals in the state, are on track to reach 2020 goals for all health care acquired infections.
But areas of concern remain: Of 39 hospitals targeted for help by the state to reduce C. Difficile infections, seven were worse; five hospitals were worse