Health care-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a risk to patients and health care facilities. Estimates indicate that 240,000 patients admitted to California hospitals annually develop HAIs, contributing to the suffering associated with illness and increasing costs to the health care system by approximately $3.1 billion. Literature suggests that a significant proportion of HAIs can be eliminated with intensive surveillance and prevention programs. CHA supports decreasing the number of HAIs through a deliberate and systematic approach that addresses infection-control program infrastructure and oversight. CHA also supports the public reporting of meaningful, scientifically valid information related to HAIs. The most prevalent HAIs (approximately 80 percent) are urinary tract infections, surgical-site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and central-line blood stream infections.
The HAI Advisory Committee- created by SB 739 (Chapter 526, Statutes of 2006) — recommends methods for preventing and reporting HAIs to the California Department of Public Health.
Health care-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a risk to
patients and health care facilities. Estimates indicate that
240,000 patients admitted to California hospitals annually
develop HAIs, contributing to the suffering associated with
illness and increasing costs to the health care system by
approximately $3.1 billion. Literature suggests that a
significant proportion of HAIs can be eliminated with intensive
surveillance and prevention programs. CHA supports decreasing the
number of HAIs through a deliberate and systematic approach that
addresses infection-control program infrastructure and oversight.
CHA also supports the public reporting of meaningful,
scientifically valid information related to HAIs. The most
prevalent HAIs (approximately 80 percent) are urinary tract
infections, surgical-site infections, ventilator-associated
pneumonia and central-line blood stream infections.
HAI Advisory Committee- created by SB 739 (Chapter 526,
Statutes of 2006) — recommends methods for preventing and
reporting HAIs to the California Department of Public Health.
With 21 measles cases reported in California this year, the
California Department of Public Health has offered detailed
recommendations – through
All Facilities Letter 19-17 – for identifying and
addressing the disease. The cases reported so far have
resulted in hundreds of investigations of possible contact
as well as transmission of the disease in emergency departments
and other health care settings.
Influenza activity remains high across the United States,
according to a
health alert recently issued by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC notes that the season is
likely to last several more weeks and continues to recommend
antiviral medications for influenza treatment, regardless of
whether a patient received the influenza vaccine.
health advisory from the California Department of Public
Health (CDPH) reminds providers to be aware of potential measles
cases, as 16 cases have been reported in California since
Jan. 1. CDPH notes that providers should not rule out a measles
diagnosis based solely on patients reporting they previously
received a measles immunization.
health advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention shares information about an investigation of a
penicillin-resistant strain of Brucella spreading across
the U.S. Suspected to be linked to consumption of unpasteurized
milk from a farm in Pennsylvania, cases have now been identified
in 19 states — including California. More information on the
infection and recommended treatment is available in the advisory.
In preparation for an
upcoming meeting to solicit stakeholder feedback on
possible changes to Title 22 infection control and physical
plant regulations for general acute care hospitals, the
California Department of Public Health has released a series of
questions. More details are available in All
Facilities Letter 18-56.1.
travel alert recently issued by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention notifies providers of recent cases of
surgical site infections in U.S. residents who underwent invasive
medical procedures in Tijuana, Mexico.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its
health alertaddressing a multistate outbreak of coagulopathy — a
bleeding disorder that impacts the way blood clots — that has
been linked to synthetic cannabinoid use.
According to an
annual report from the California Department of Public
Health, the overall vaccination rate among health care
personnel in California hospitals increased from 72 percent in
2012-13 to 84 percent in 2017-18, meaning that California is well
on its way to reaching the goal of 90 percent vaccination
coverage among hospital personnel by 2020.
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, general acute care hospitals and acute
psychiatric hospitals must adopt and implement a linen laundry
processing policy that aligns with the most recent standards from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers
for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
As flu season gets underway, providers are encouraged to promote
vaccinations. To assist in this effort, Cal MediConnect has
created free materials in the following languages: Amharic,
Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Dzongkha, English,
Farsi, Hmong, Karen, Kirundi, Korean, Japanese, Nepali, Oromo,
Polish, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
In the attached All Facilities Letter 18-43, the California
Department of Public Health (CDPH) informs the public that CDPH’s
health care employees and surveyors are obligated to receive the
influenza vaccine or wear a mask inside designated patient care
areas. CDPH employees that receive a vaccine and provide
documentation to their district manager will receive a
verification sticker that should be affixed to their CDPH
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges health
care providers to report cases in which patients experience acute
flaccid limb weakness. Nationally, 62 cases of acute flaccid
myelitis have been confirmed since the start of the year. This
rare neurological condition is characterized by sudden onset of
weakness in one or more limbs and distinct abnormalities in the
spinal cord. In the attached alert, CDPH provides guidance
related to case reporting and laboratory testing, as well as
precautions for infection control.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the
attached All Facilities Letter 18-39, which addresses Legionella
risks in health care facility water systems. Hospitals, critical
access hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities must develop and
adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth
in building water systems, in order to reduce the growth and
spread of Legionella and other pathogens in water. CDPH directs
guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services, which clarifies expectations and notes that facilities
Conduct a facility risk assessment to identify where
Legionella and other pathogens could grow and spread.
Develop and implement a water management program.
Specify testing protocols and document testing results.
Comply with other federal, state and local requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a
alert notifying clinicians that three patients in the U.S.
have been diagnosed with leptospirosis after travel to Israel.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can be spread through
contact with infected animals or contaminated water sources.
Early symptoms include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches,
vomiting, diarrhea, cough, jaundice or rash. Clinicians should
consider this diagnosis for patients presenting with those
symptoms who have traveled to northern Israel since July 1.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released
an updated vaccine information statement for DTaP and
meningococcal ACWY. Federal law requires that health care
providers give the relevant vaccine information statement to each
patient (or parent/legal representative) who is vaccinated. CDC
provides the informational handouts in more than 40 different
languages at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/.
Ideally, providers should begin using the updated statements
immediately; however, CDC has stated that existing stocks may be
used until depleted. To subscribe to the CDC’s email notification
service about vaccine information statements,
The second segment of a four-part online
training course on antibiotic stewardship is now available
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The
newly released segment consists of four modules focused on
outpatient antibiotic use in the U.S., offering information on
barriers to appropriate outpatient antibiotic
prescribing; the core elements of outpatient antibiotic
stewardship and evidence-based strategies to implement those
elements; and training for communicating with patients when
antibiotics are not necessary. Completing the training
qualifies for certain continuing education credit and counts as
an improvement activity under Medicare’s new Merit-based
Incentive Payment System.
For more antibiotic stewardship resources, visit the
previously reported in CHA News, an outbreak of
Burkholderia cepacia complex infections associated with
associated with Medline Remedy® Essentials No-Rinse Foam
continues to be investigated by the California Department of
Public Health. The manufacturer has expanded its previously
announced recall to include:
An additional master lot of the Medline
Remedy® Essentials No-Rinse Foam
Medline Remedy® Essentials No-Rinse Foam four-ounce bottles
from the M05703 master lot; the initial recall only included
eight-ounce bottles from this lot.
Additional cosmetic products and over the counter medications
Health care facilities should determine whether they use any
recalled products and, if so, follow the manufacturer’s
recall instructions. More details about the investigation and
recalled products are
available online. Questions should be directed to HAIprogram@cdph.ca.gov.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a health
advisory with information on its investigation of
hepatitis A outbreaks in multiple states, including California.
According to the alert, these outbreaks are often tied to
patients — or those they come into contact with — who report
drug use or homelessness. CDC notes that the hepatitis A
vaccine is the best method of preventing infection, and offers
specific guidance for health care providers and health
The California Department of Public Health has released a
advisory updating its recommendations for managing and
reporting Shigella infections, specifically for patients who have
been treated with ciprofloxacin or azithromycin that resulted in
possible clinical treatment failure. All cases of Shigella
infection should be reported to local health departments. If they
suspect treatment failure, clinicians should:
Consider consulting an infectious disease specialist to
identify other treatment options.
Contact the local health department to coordinate reporting
treatment failure information. This information should also be
reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Collect a stool specimen for culture and work with a clinical
microbiology laboratory to submit for additional antimicrobial
Request that the laboratory expedite submission of
the Shigella isolate to their state public
health laboratory, which should notify CDC at EntericBacteria@cdc.gov to
coordinate additional laboratory testing and/or shipment of the
isolate to CDC.