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DHMH Newsroom : Reduction in Blood Stream Infections


Baltimore, MD (November 15, 2012) The Maryland Health Care Commission’s most recent update to the Maryland Hospital Performance Evaluation Guide shows that Maryland hospitals have continued to make significant progress in reducing serious but preventable infections that occur in Intensive Care Units. Central line associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSIs, occur in patients who have an intravenous central line catheter in place. The risk of these potentially devastating infections can be reduced by proper insertion and care of the catheter.  
The Commission first released CLABSI data on the Hospital Guide in October 2010. Since the first assessment, MD CLABSI rates have decreased substantially. For FY2012, hospitals reported 206 CLABSIs in all ICUs as compared to 472 CLABSIs reported for FY2010, the first reporting period. This represents a 56% decrease in CLABSIs in hospital ICUs over a two year time period.  "The progress that Maryland hospitals have made in reducing infections in ICUs is an important step forward in increasing patient safety,” said  Ben Steffen, Executive Director, Maryland Health Care Commission.  “The Commission hopes that hospitals are able to broaden their successful prevention initiatives to all units within their respective facilities."
MD Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein noted that “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an Action Plan for the prevention of healthcare associated infections which establishes a five year target of 50% reduction in central line bloodstream infections by December 2013. Maryland hospitals have achieved a critical milestone in their efforts to ensure patient safety and provide high quality health care.”
The Hospital Guide update also represents the first release of surgical site infections (SSI) data for Hip, Knee, and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) procedures. The SSI data shows that for CY2011, the infection rate for most hospitals that perform these procedures is no different than the national experience. CDC standards and guidelines were also used for this new data collection and reporting initiative.
Maryland Health Care Commission’s Hospital Guide can be found on the web at:


For Additional Information about the Hospital Guide, contact: 
Theressa Lee, Chief Hospital Quality  Initiatives 410-764-3328