Date Published:1/14/2015 3:26:00 PM
Publication Format:

January 14, 2015

Kristy Weinshel, 703-684-1008

CDC Report Highlights Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals

Continued Infection Prevention Methods Needed to Keep Progress Going

January 14, 2015 — The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is optimistic about healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates reported today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the annual National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report. For the first time, the report details state-specific data about hospital lab-identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections.  Findings are based on data submitted by over 14,500 US hospitals through the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

Several national metrics highlighting trends show HAI improvement including:

  • 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013.
  • 19 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2013.
  • 8 percent decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections between 2011 and 2013.
  • 10 percent decrease in C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2013.

One of the central reasons that healthcare facilities are showing these strong reductions is due to the targeted work of healthcare teams implementing targeted infection prevention methods and systems in place.  This effort not only improves patient outcomes, but also benefits the greater issue of antibiotic resistance by avoiding the infections and therefore associated antibiotic prescribing. The other benefit lies in preventing patients from unnecessary antibiotic side-effects such as C. difficile infections which also supports antimicrobial resistant efforts. 

"Adequately-resourced infection prevention programs, led by trained healthcare epidemiologists and infection preventionists, coupled with investment in infection prevention research, is necessary to systematically assess infection prevention methods and continuously improve methodologies," said Anthony Harris, MD, MS, president of SHEA.   

SHEA encourages the use of evidenced-based clinical practice guidelines to ensure best practices are being followed to address HAI prevention, such as the ###

SHEA is a global professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals with expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention to improve patient care in all healthcare settings. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society advances its mission through advocacy, science and research, expert guidelines and guidance on key issues, the exchange of knowledge, and high-quality education.  SHEA focuses resources on promoting antimicrobial stewardship, ensuring a safe healthcare environment, encouraging transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, focused efforts on prevention and more. Visit SHEA online at, and @SHEA_Epi.