According to a recent report from the Patient Safety Authority, the rates of infection in Pennsylvania nursing homes have gone down in the past few years. This is the direct result of a program which targeted healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). Data taken from 2010 reported declining infection rates in a variety of long-term care facilities (such as dementia care facilities, nursing and mixed units, short-term rehab units, and ventilator-dependent units). Nursing homes also reported a decline in the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) between 14-15% in both catheter and non-catheter using residents. Additionally, there was also over 15% fewer skin and soft-tissue infections (such as bed sores) compared to earlier data. As stated in the news article, "under the Pennsylvania program, the Patient Safety Authority assigns each liaison between 65 and 100 healthcare facilities, which they can visit regularly and provide infection prevention resources. Since working with liaisons, many nursing homes have implemented mandatory vaccination programs, which have helped lower infection rates."
The movement to consciously monitor and control infections in nursing home and similar facilities is an excellent step that Pennsylvania healthcare leaders are taking. Hopefully these statistics will continue to improve and positively affect the experience that many nursing home residents might have. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury attorney specializing in automobile accidents and nursing home abuse/negligence. For more information on him and his law firm, please click here.