Central-line infections at California hospitals decreased by 10% last year, according to a new report from the California Department of Public Health, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The Press-Enterprise article was produced by the California HealthCare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting. The Center is supported by a grant from CHCF, which publishes California Healthline.
A 2008 law -- known as "Niles' Law" -- requires all acute care hospitals in California to publicly report certain infections.
Hospitals in California reported 3,163 cases of central-line infections in 2011, down from 3,519 cases the previous year, according to the report.
Three major teaching hospitals reported better-than-average rates of central-line infections:
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles;
- Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose; and
- Stanford Hospital.
However, other teaching hospitals continue to struggle with high central-line infection rates, including:
- Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton;
- Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno;
- Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; and
- UC-Davis Medical Center.
Meanwhile, state officials found that rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, have increased at certain long-term acute care hospitals, despite lower or stable rates at many teaching and community hospitals in California.
Officials also found that rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci, or VRE, were significantly higher than the state average at certain long-term care facilities, such as Kindred Hospital Los Angeles and Promise Hospital of San Diego (Schoch, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/9).
Review Raises Questions
Meanwhile, a review of 100 hospitals by California public health officials found that facilities in 2011 failed to report as many as one-third of the infections they should have under state law, California Watch reports.
For the review, public health officials conducted one- to two-day examinations at 100 hospitals that volunteered. For the examinations, officials compared infection data reported in 2011 with medical lab findings and patient records.
The latest DPH report on hospital infection rates does not specify whether the rates were double-checked by state officials, according to California Watch (Jewett, California Watch, 8/10).