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David Morgan
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Healthcare Facilities Meet National Infection Prevention Goals

Department of Health Annual Report on Healthcare-Associated Infections Measures Progress

The New Mexico Department of Health announced that New Mexico healthcare facilities are meeting several national healthcare-associated infection prevention goals. Healthcare-associated infections can be acquired by patients in healthcare settings during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions. Many healthcare-associated infections are preventable through proven practices. New Mexico continues its initiative to monitor and prevent healthcare-associated infections and to share findings with the public.

Findings from 2013 revealed fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections than predicted nationally. This improvement met the national prevention target for 2013. The Department monitors central line-associated bloodstream infections which can carry great risk to patients. Hospitals can prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections through implementation of proven practices. A central line is a flexible tube that is inserted into one of the large blood vessels that goes into or near the heart and can be used for monitoring purposes, or to give fluids, medical treatments or liquid nutrition. If a central line is inserted incorrectly or not cared for properly, it can cause dangerous bloodstream infections. During 2013, 56% fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections occurred at 33 acute care hospitals in New Mexico than predicted based on the 2006-2008 national baseline. Like other states, New Mexico hospitals need to continue to improve in order to meet the 2020 national target of 75% fewer infections than the national baseline.

The Department also monitors hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections. 2013 was the first full reporting year for these infections and the data show that, like other states, New Mexico has not yet been able to show improvement in preventing this infection during hospital stays. The numbers of infections are no different than what is predicted based on the 2010 – 2011 national baseline. Clostridium difficile are bacteria that can cause diarrhea that can quickly lead to more serious complications in people already weakened with other health problems. Age, use of certain antibiotics and drugs that decrease stomach acids, and prolonged hospital stays are risk factors. Hospitals and long-term care facilities in New Mexico are using improved prescribing, environmental cleaning, and hand hygiene in their battle against this spore-forming bacteria.

The Department, in collaboration with the New Mexico Healthcare-associated Infections Advisory Committee, monitors influenza vaccination rates of healthcare personnel because unvaccinated personnel can transmit influenza virus which can cause great harm to patients. The healthcare personnel influenza vaccination rate during the 2013-2014 influenza season was 77.5% among 27 New Mexico inpatient healthcare facilities that submitted vaccination data to the Department. This shows that New Mexico reporting facilities have already achieved the US Health and Human Services 2014-2015 goal of 70% flu vaccination among healthcare personnel. Seven facilities are at or above the 90% Healthy People 2020 goal.

“There are many information sources available to the public that describe healthcare-associated infections", said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward. “The New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Healthcare-associated Infections Advisory Committee work collaboratively with partners to monitor and prevent healthcare-associated infections, and provide New Mexico-specific information to the public.”

The New Mexico Healthcare-associated Infections Advisory Committee recently released the sixth New Mexico public report on healthcare-associated infections. The most recent report has details of how New Mexico healthcare facilities are meeting national healthcare-associated infection prevention goals and lists sources for additional information on prevention and facility-specific infection rates.

The report can be accessed from the Healthcare-Associated Infections section of our website.

The information detailed in the annual report represents the healthcare-associated infections surveillance and prevention work of numerous stakeholders and key partners. The New Mexico Healthcare-associated Infections Advisory Committee provides leadership and guidance which result in ongoing collaborations, both formal and informal, across facilities and communities. The Advisory Committee includes healthcare facilities, individual infection control and quality improvement professionals, public health professionals, the New Mexico state quality improvement organization (HealthInsight New Mexico), the New Mexico Hospital Association, and consumers.

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Las Instalaciones Sanitarias de NM Cumplen las Metas Nacionales de Prevención de Infecciones