A new study by the Leapfrog Group has compared infection data from late 2021 and 2022 to the 2021 Safety Grades, which covered the period immediately prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The analysis found that there have been concerning increases in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) during this time period.
The study found that the average central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) standard infection ratio increased by 60%, indicating a significant increase in infections related to central line catheters. Additionally, the average methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) standard infection ratio increased by 37%, and the average catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) standard infection ratio increased by 19%.
These findings highlight the need for healthcare providers to prioritize infection prevention measures, 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 study also found that patient experience has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients have reported a lack of communication from healthcare providers and decreased satisfaction with their care during this time period.
Despite these challenges, the study also found that some hospitals have made improvements in safety grades during the pandemic. There were more hospitals with an A grade in the 2022 Safety Grades compared to the prior year’s 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.