Leapfrog Group Study: Hospital Responses to Pandemic Led to Decline in Patient Safety and HAI Management

A new study by The Leapfrog Group has revealed concerning findings regarding healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, which measures six different HAIs using the standardized infection ratio, found that MRSA, CLABSI, and CAUTI have worsened during the pandemic. However, the study also found some positive developments in HAI management.

The 2023 spring Safety Grades, which compare the actual number of HAIs at each hospital to the predicted number of infections, found that Clostridioides difficile (C. Diff) improved by 15% from spring 2021 to spring 2023. Additionally, there was not a significant change for surgical site infections following surgery.

“Not only are HAIs among the leading causes of death in the U.S., they also increase length of hospitalization stays and add to costs,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Our pre-pandemic data showed improved HAI measures, but the spring 2023 Safety Grade data spotlights how hospital responses to the pandemic led to a decline in patient safety and HAI management.”

The study highlights the ongoing need for healthcare providers to prioritize infection prevention measures and patient safety, even during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The study suggests that investing in infection prevention measures, increasing staffing levels, and providing emotional support to healthcare workers can help improve patient outcomes and maintain high safety grades.

The findings of the study underscore the importance of continued efforts to improve hospital safety and patient outcomes. By prioritizing safety and infection prevention, healthcare providers can ensure that patients receive the high-quality care they deserve, even during times of crisis.

The study also highlights the importance of continued efforts to improve HAI management and patient safety. By investing in prevention measures and working to reduce HAIs, healthcare providers can help improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

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