California infection report missed many infections

California health officials found that a recent report on hospital acquired infections missed a significant number of infections, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times.

According to the article, the original report released by the state of California noted a 10% decrease in central-line associated blood stream infections between the years 2010 and 2011.  However, a fact check of hospital records later revealed that 38% of central-line associated blood stream infections were not reported correctly, and therefore not included in the report.  The fact check also revealed errors in the reporting of Clostridium difficile, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). 

The article notes that this is an example of how difficult it is for states and hospitals to accurately count infections given differing definitions, counting techniques, and human error.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, August 29, 2012; Contra Costa Times,, August 26, 2012)