New Data Shows Infection Rates Still Too High In U.S. Hospitals

Mar 16, 2016

Analysis of the Leapfrog Group’s Data by Castlight Health Shows More Than 50 Percent of Hospitals With High Healthcare-Associated Infection Rates

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2016 — Though hospitals are making strides in avoiding central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), a report released today, in the midst ofPatient Safety Awareness Week (March 13-19), shows patients are still experiencing these serious, and sometimes fatal, infections too frequently. This report was published by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based health care non-profit and analyzed byCastlight Health.

Key findings include:

  • At the majority of hospitals (75 percent), the central line infection rate was too high – Only 25 percent of hospitals met The Leapfrog Group’s target standardized infection ratio (SIR) of zero for CLABSI.
  • Only 25 percent of hospitals met Leapfrog’s urinary tract infection standard – The Leapfrog Group’s standard for CAUTI is that the rate of infections is close to zero.
  • Infection rates vary by state of residence, choice of hospital and metropolitan area – On average, New Hampshire had the safest hospitals, with 67 percent reporting a CLABSI rate of zero. Alternatively, Rhode Island and Maryland showed the most urgent need to improve, with no hospitals reporting a CLABSI rate of zero.
  • Infection rates are declining, but more transparency and quality improvement are needed – Public reporting through Leapfrog has helped galvanize a decline in CLABSI rates. For example, the percentage of hospitals reporting a CLABSI rate of zero has steadily increased from 18.8 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2015. However, nationwide, three quarters of hospitals still do not meet Leapfrog’s standards.

This is the first in a series of five in-depth reports examining key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide based on data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey with analysis by Castlight Health. Future publications in the series will be available at

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