The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has released its first statewide annual report on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Hawaii. The report covers data collected from January to December 2012 from Hawaii hospitals using methodology developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To view a copy of the report, go to:

The 2012 report contains data for all central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections in intensive care units as well as some inpatient surgical site infections for abdominal hysterectomy and colon surgeries. Reporting on these conditions is mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Hawaii Revised Statutes §325-2.5.

The data shows Hawaii facilities had relatively low numbers of infections associated with receiving treatment in a healthcare setting. In 2011, Hawaii facilities had the second lowest rate of CLABSI in the nation.

“During 2012, our facilities were able to maintain considerably lower numbers of CLABSI compared with the rates predicted by national data, although we will not know precisely how we compare to the rest of the nation, until CDC releases its 2012 report,” stated Dr. Sarah Y. Park, State Epidemiologist. “However, there is still room for improvement in reducing HAIs in Hawaii. Our eventual goal is to eliminate HAIs.”

According to the CDC, hospital patients in the United States get nearly 2 million infections each year. That is about one infection for every 20 patients. Healthcare facilities, together with their partners, have been and continue to work towards reducing and even eliminating HAIs in their facilities. In Hawaii, this partnership comprises DOH, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Premier Healthcare Alliance, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, and hospitals throughout the state.

“Hawaii is unique for the high level of collaboration among competing healthcare facilities, the DOH, and others,” stated George W. Greene, Esq., President and CEO, Healthcare Association of Hawaii. “As a result of sharing best practices and innovative new ideas with each other, the quality of care advances throughout the state, reducing preventable HAIs. We applaud the state for sharing these data in the most transparent way.”

“The Hawaii Safer Care CUSP-STOP BSI[1] collaborative demonstrates that together we can accomplish so much more than anyone can alone. We achieved a landmark event. Hawaii is the only state where every single ICU bed in the state committed by choice to work together to reduce CLABSI. We achieved an over 80 percent reduction in these infections,” said Della M. Lin, MD, patient care improvement advocate.

For the other conditions contained in the report, Hawaii rates were similar to rates expected in similar size facilities. The results from this report will be used to reduce HAI and improve the quality of care. When deciding where to receive care, patients should always consider the advice of physicians, the hospital’s and specialist’s experience with the care that is needed, and other factors unique to the patient’s situation.


Submitted by the Department of Health