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

Shelley S. Magill, MD, Ph.D., from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues repeated to 2011 survey in 2015 to assess changes in the prevalence of healthcare-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.

Healthcare-associated infections

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 healthcare-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 of having a healthcare-associated infection was 16 percent lower (risk ratio, 0.84) after adjustment for confounding variables.

"Collaborations among healthcare facilities, public health agencies, and other partners will be critical to the progress toward the goal of eliminating healthcare-associated infections," the authors write.