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Utah Sees Improvements in Reducing Hospital Infections

Utah is seeing improvements in reducing infections from hospital procedures. The state department of health released its annual report on healthcare associated infections Monday. Across the country, 1 in 25 people will get an infection while they are receiving treatment for another condition in a healthcare setting.

According to new data for 2014, Utah had 51 cases of central line-associated blood stream infections. State health officials say that’s more than 60 percent below the national average. Karen Singson is a registered nurse and epidemiologist, specializing in infection prevention and control. She says tracking and reporting the numbers at specific facilities as the state has done since 2012 helps reduce the chance of infection. 

“As we see more public reporting occur with our healthcare associated infections, we are seeing facilities be more vested in implementing best practices to decrease those infections,” Singson says, but she says there is still more work to do. While Utah hospitals have made improvements, the report shows that the state still has more catheter-associated urinary tract infections and colon surgical site infections than the national rate.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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