According to a report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the rate of hospital-acquired infections has significantly decreased over the past 10 years.
In 2011, there were approximately 722,000 hospital infections; this number is much lower than the past figure of 1.7 million infections per year. The 2011 rate would mean about 1 in 25 Americans contracted an hospital infection, while previous rates were about 1 in 20.
New data published yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine found that 75,000 people died in 2011 due to hospital-associated infections (HAI).
According to Dr. Michael Bell, Deputy Director of the Division of Health Care Quality Promotion at the CDC, hospital improvements seem to be playing a major part of the decline in infection rate. Another contributing factor, however, is that over 60 percent of operations are now performed at outpatient facilities rather than in the hospital. This change in the medical system is not solely responsible for the drop in hospital infection rate, however.