Posts Tagged ‘medical procedures’

Preventing Hospital Associated Infections in AZ: New Performance Data

February 15th, 2013

A new CDC report released this week gave a status update on the national Winnable Battle to reduce hospital associated infections.   Not all medical procedures carry the same risk of infection, so the report uses something called a standardized infection ratio to compare infection rates among hospitals. It’s a complicated statistic, but basically, it divides the number of infections that actually occurred in a hospital with the number of infections that were expected in the same time period.  The lower the score the better.  

Arizona’s 2011 overall score was less than 1… meaning we did well.  Our overall average (2011) score was 0.575, which was better than expected for Arizona, and better than the national average score of 0.592. The report also shows a decrease in scores since 2010, meaning that the work Arizona hospitals are doing to decrease infections and make care safer for their patients is making a difference. If you’re interested in seeing the score for your local hospital, you can check it out on Hospital Compare. Right now, this site only shows CLABSI scores, but it’ll soon display scores for catheter-associated urinary tract infections and some surgical site infections. 

We’re making it a priority to prevent hospital associated infections by maintaining our HAI Program and licensing and inspecting healthcare facilities across the state.  We also facilitate a multidisciplinary HAI Advisory Committee that identifies and addresses priority areas for Arizona. This dedicated group of partners has collaborated continuously since 2009 to coordinate prevention efforts across the state. The partnerships and open dialogue help us improve surveillance, report and prevent hospital associated infections, which support our Strategic Map goal of reducing healthcare associated infections and re-admissions.

Influenza Going Gangbusters in US and AZ

January 10th, 2013

During the 2009- 2010 influenza pandemic, we saw how influenza can be unpredictable in terms of who it affects most, when it occurs, and what strains will circulate. This season is no exception. While the circulating strains are exactly what we predicted, the peak of the flu season is hitting earlier than usual (now) and it’s really spreading fast.  In fact, this week’s new Influenza Activity Report moved us into the “Widespread” category along with just about all the other states.  The CDC Summary Site will probably be updated today with the latest US data.  I bet just about every state will be on widespread status. 

In AZ, a few of our licensed medical facilities are currently on “Divert or Caution” meaning that they are at or near capacity with sick folks.  Our Licensing team will be in contact with several hospitals today.  Many are managing patient flow by prioritizing medical procedures and postponing those that are optional in order to save space and staffing for acutely sick folks.  We’ve given a couple of facilities permission to make adjustments to their normal procedures to better serve sick patients.

Preparedness is working on bed polls and communication with the county health officers/counties and media. We’ll continue to reach out to facilities to find out about capacity issues and work with them on messaging for alternate care sites and transferring patients within their own facilities. 

It’s too late to get the flu shot for the folks that are sick with influenza right now.  But if you haven’t gotten sick yet and have been putting it off- you better get on the stick