Dr. Nirav R. Shah, commissioner of New York state's Department of Health, said the sixth annual report on hospital-acquired infections, which includes rates of infections for individual hospitals, also found the rates of surgical site infections for selected procedures fell by 16 percent.
In addition, since 2010, the rate of C. difficile infections rose by 14 percent among the 89 hospitals that switched to a more sensitive laboratory test capable of detecting more cases, but fell by 15 percent among the 88 hospitals using the same type of test throughout the reporting period, the report said.
"Patients deserve the peace-of-mind of knowing the hospital they receive treatment from utilizes best practices to protect their safety," Shah said in a statement. "Preventing hospital-acquired infections is a key component of patient safety, and we will continue to proactively work with hospitals to reduce the number of these infections."
Among the major findings of the report:
-- The 53 percent reduction in adult/pediatric/neonatal central-line associated blood stream infections in New York hospitals since 2007 led to an estimated savings of between $18 million and $72 million due to shorter hospital stays and preventing the need for additional treatment.
-- The biggest reduction occurred in surgical intensive care units, where the central-line associated blood stream infections rate decreased 66.
-- The 16 percent reduction in surgical site infections since 2007 helped to achieve estimated savings of between $12 million and $35 million due to decreased length of hospital stays and prevention of complications that require additional treatment.
-- The surgical site infections rate for colon surgery decreased 14 percent from 2007 to 2012. However, the biggest decrease was from 2007 to 2008. The rates have been fairly stable since 2008.
-- The surgical site infections rate for chest incision infections after cardiac bypass surgery decreased 23 percent from 2007 to 2012.