Patient safety at Oregon hospitals has improved due to decreases in infections, according to recent report. Hospitals in the state showed a decline in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) which also potentially resulted in a cost savings.

One type of hospital infection that has decreased is central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). A CLABI happens when germs enter a patient's bloodstream through a central line, a tube that is placed in a large vein to administer medications, fluids or blood. In Oregon, between 2009 and 2011, CLABIs in intensive care settings were reduced by 55 percent. This decrease also resulted in an estimated cost savings of $600,000 to $2.5 million.

The report also notes that a variety of types of surgical site infections (SSIs) have decreased in Oregon hospitals. These include:

  • Colon surgery- SSIs down by 20 percent
  • Abdominal hysterectomy- SSIs down by 21 percent
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery- SSIs down by 10 percent
  • Knee replacement- SSIs down by 20 percent
  • Laminectomy- SSIs down by 31 percent

These declines in SSIs are encouraging, but work also remains to be done. The rate of SSIs for hip replacements was 13 percent higher than the average nationally. Moreover, despite the recent decrease in infections, many patients continue to experience CLABSIs or SSIs.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a hospital infection or another type of hospital negligence an attorney will be able to provide guidance about a hospital's liability for potential claims.

Source: Infection Control Today, "Oregon Hospitals Report Reduction in HAIs, Achieve Cost Savings," July 17, 2012.