WRMC Gets Clean Report

1/28/2013

Contact: Tammy G. Love

VP of Business Development

Phone: (336) 651-8116

By CHARLES S. WILLIAMS
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff

Wilkes Regional Medical Center fared well in the latest health care associated infections report compiled by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services with no reported infections in three key areas for the period Jan. 1-June 30 2012.

Wilkes Regional reported no central line-associated bloodstream infections for the period. A central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is a serious infection that occurs when germs enter the bloodstream through a central venous catheter (tube) that doctors place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests.

For similar-size hospitals, the average rate of infections was 0.66 per hospital. The state average was 1.07 percent.

Wilkes Regional has eight intensive care beds and one infection control employee. The hospital reported 4,266 admissions, and 13,730 patient days in 2011.

The hospital also reported no catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) for the same six-month period. A CAUTI is an infection of the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys that occurs when germs enter through a catheter (tube) that has been inserted into the bladder to drain urine. There were 496 catheter-days for the ICU.

The average number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections was 1.067 in similarly sized hospitals, and 2.08 in the state.

There were also no infections reported for three abdominal hysterectomy procedures and none for the 11 colon surgeries at the hospital here. The rate was 0.84 for similar–sized hospitals and 0.72 for the state.

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place.

According to a commentary from a hospital spokesman included in the report, “The prevention and reduction of health care associated infections is a top priority at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. To accomplish this, infection prevention strategies are continually assessed and measures implemented to decrease the risk for infection.

“These measures are based on evidence-based practices and clinical guidelines. A comprehensive program is provided that encompasses patient care and patient safety.”

The 109-page report was released Friday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 5 percent of patients, or 1.7 million people, get an infection in the hospital each year, and 100,000 die as a result.

Medicare and Medicaid have stopped reimbursing hospitals for the extra care required to treat some hospital-acquired infections.

The report includes suggestions for patients on how to reduce the chance of infection. Officials note that patients should not hesitate to ask health care workers to wash their hands before touching a central line.

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