CDC lauds new tracking tool that eyes infection progress

Government health officials have released a tracking tool that can help nursing homes monitor healthcare-acquired infections. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network’s new tracking component allows long-term care facilities to log onto a website where they can report cases of infections such as Clostridium difficile, urinary tract infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and others. Outbreaks of these infections can wreak havoc among nursing home residents.

“The unsettling truth is that our best estimates of healthcare-associated infections in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, most likely understate the true problem,” said Nimalie Stone, M.D., lead author of the CDC’s guidance said. 

By reporting infections, nursing homes can better identify problems, implement prevention measures, and monitor progress toward stopping infections, according to the CDC. 

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America also updated infection definitions and guidance, providing criteria for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to track and monitor HAIs. The new guidelines will be published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology

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