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Statement by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America in Response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State-Specific Healthcare

Date Published:2/12/2013 5:59:00 PM
Publication Format:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
CONTACT:   Kate Enos, (202) 745-5071


Statement by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
in Response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State-Specific Healthcare-Associated Infections Summary Data Report

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing promising progress in healthcare-associated infection prevention. The report details an overall 41 percent decrease in central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and a 17 percent reduction in surgical site infections since 2008. However, there is still much room for improvement, especially with no change in the rate of catheter-associated urinary infections. 

This report and its findings reflect a heightened awareness of the health and economic implications of HAIs, as hospital management, healthcare professionals, and patients work together to eliminate harmful, costly, and avoidable infections.

Below is a statement by Daniel Diekema, MD, President-Elect of SHEA:

“We have a responsibility as healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care. Healthcare-associated infections pose a significant threat to our patients, and preventing such infections poses substantial challenges for healthcare providers.  The CDC estimates that 5‐10 percent of hospitalized patients develop a healthcare‐associated infection (HAI), corresponding to approximately 2 million HAIs associated with nearly 100,000 deaths each year in US hospitals. 

The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data, created by the CDC, has been essential to our national progress in HAI prevention. Hospitals from across the country track rates of HAIs through the application of both rigorously tested standard definitions and data collection methods.

SHEA members continue to help identify and implement effective interventions to prevent HAIs. SHEA also supports ongoing efforts to provide meaningful HAI data to consumers, providers, and state health departments. HAI data must be collected using standard definitions and be subject to rigorous validation, so that we can have confidence that they are important measures of patient safety. Finally, SHEA promotes increased commitment to further research in HAI prevention, without which we will be unable to achieve ever-greater reductions in these life-threatening infections.”


SHEA is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world with expertise in healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention and control. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society leads this field by promoting science and research and providing high-quality education and training in epidemiologic methods and prevention strategies. SHEA upholds the value and critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology to improving patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings. Visit SHEA online at, on Twitter @SHEA_Epi and Facebook at

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