From a survey of all U.S. hospitals in 1976 and of a random sample in 1983, we found that the intensity of infection surveillance and control activities greatly increased, and the percentage of hospitals with an infection control nurse per 250 beds increased from 22% to 57%. The percentage with a physician trained in infection control remained low (15%), and there was a drop in the percentages of hospitals doing surgical wound infection surveillance (from 90% down to 79%) and reporting surgeon-specific rates to surgeons (from 19% down to 13%). There was an increase in the percentage of hospitals with programs shown to be effective in preventing urinary tract infections, bacteremias, and pneumonias, but not surgical wound infections. The percentage of nosocomial infections being prevented nationwide appears to have increased from 6% to only 9%, whereas 32% could be preveneted if all hospitals adopted the most effective programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases