Infection Rates In New York State Hospitals Declining

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 21, 2016) - The rate of infections acquired by patients while in New York hospitals continued to decrease in 2014, according to the New York State Department of Health (DOH)'s eighth annual Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI) report. Hospitals have prevented an estimated 15,000 infections since reporting began in 2007.

"The 2014 report shows that New York hospitals are making tremendous strides toward reducing hospital-acquired infections," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "Reducing these infections requires constant vigilance and preventive strategies. These numbers show that hospitals' efforts are paying off and resulting in better health."

HAIs, which affect four percent of patients admitted to hospitals, result in longer hospital stays, antimicrobial resistance, increased health care costs, unnecessary deaths, and greater emotional and personal costs to patients and their families. Since 2007, the annual HAI report has provided the public with fair, accurate and reliable data, so consumers can compare hospital infection rates and hospitals can use the data to make quality improvements that reduce infections.

The chart below shows the number of infections reported in 2014, along with the amount of improvement since the year public reporting began for each type of infection. HAI rates have declined for all types of infections.

Type of infection Number Rate Change
Hospital onset Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) among inpatients 8,890 7.2/10,000 patient days ▼ 32% since 2010
Hospital onset carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections among inpatients (Klebsiellaand E. coli species, all body sites) 1,345 1.0/10,000 patient days ▼ 18% since 2013
Surgical site infections (SSIs) following
Abdominal hysterectomy surgery 361 1.9/100 procedures ▼ 15% since 2012
Hip replacement or revision surgery 319 1.0/100 procedures ▼ 10% since 2008
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) - chest site 183 1.7/100 procedures ▼ 34% since 2007
Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in intensive care units 546 0.9/1,000 line days ▼ 57% since 2007

For the first time, the report includes carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infection rates for individual hospitals. CRE is a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics and has emerged as a serious public health threat in New York State and the nation..

Despite the continued declines, infections are still too common. An estimated 2,000 deaths may have been associated with Clostridium difficileand antibiotic resistant organisms in 2014 in NYS; approximately 850 of those infections may have been hospital-acquired. DOH has received grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to focus additional attention on antibiotic use and these organisms. Efforts to lower HAIs include working with hospitals and nursing homes to better recognize clusters of infection, assessing facility compliance with recommended prevention and control practices, and improving communication between facilities regarding transfers of patients, especially those with infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

The full report, including hospital-specific results, is available on the DOH web site at: