HealthDay News — From 2011 to 2015, there was a reduction in the prevalence of health care-associated infections, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Shelley S. Magill, M.D., Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues repeated a 2011 survey in 2015 to assess changes in the prevalence of health care-associated infections. Hospitals were recruited from Emerging Infections Program sites in 10 states, with those who had participated in the 2011 survey being prioritized. Each hospital selected one day on which a random sample of patients was assessed.

A total of 12,299 patients were surveyed in 199 hospitals in 2015 compared with 11,282 in 183 hospitals in 2011. The researchers found that compared with 2011, in 2015, fewer patients had health care-associated infections (3.2 versus 4 percent), largely because of decreases in the prevalence of surgical-site and urinary tract infections. The most common health care-associated infections were pneumonia, gastrointestinal infections, and surgical-site infections. Compared with 2011, in 2015, the risk for having a health care-associated infection was 16 percent lower (risk ratio, 0.84) after adjustment for confounding variables.

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“Collaborations among health care facilities, public health agencies, and other partners, bolstered by recent increases in support for programs regarding health care-associated infections, will be critical to the continued progress toward the goal of eliminating health care-associated infections,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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