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News (Sept. 10, 2021) – CDC Study Finds HAIs Increased During COVID-19 Crisis
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first comprehensive look at the impact of COVID-19 on the incidence of healthcare-associated infections that harm patients in U.S. hospitals. The findings, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, show substantial increases nationally in HAI and select antibiotic-resistant infections in 2020 compared to 2019. For most of these infections, the increases seen in 2020 present a strong contrast to the success in reducing these infections prior to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for HAI and AR infections in health care settings. Many hospitals faced extraordinary circumstances that may have reduced the implementation of standard infection prevention and control practices. These data highlight the need to return to conventional infection prevention and control practices, and build resiliency in these programs to withstand future pandemics.

CMS Announces IPFQR Program Webinar, Releases Addenda to Specification Manuals
The next webinar for hospitals participating in the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program is scheduled at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 16. Registration is required for the webinar, “IPFQR Program: FY 2022 IPF PPS Final Rule and APU Determination.”

Addenda for the IPFQR program manual version 6.1a, effective Jan. 1, 2021, and version 7.0a, effective Jan. 1, 2022, have been released. Notable corrections in each addendum relate to the description of the denominators for the Alcohol Use Brief Intervention (SUB-2a) and Tobacco Use Treatment (TOB-2a) measures. Additional information regarding these changes is available in the associated release notes. The updated manuals are available on the Quality Reporting Center.

 Marijuana Use at Historic High Among College-Aged Adults in 2020

According to survey results from the 2020 Monitoring the Future panel study, marijuana use among college-aged students has increased drastically throughout the past five years. The study reports that marijuana use remained at historically high rates in 2020. Among college students, 44 percent reported using marijuana in 2020 compared to 38 percent in 2015, representing a significant increase. For young adults not in college, annual marijuana use in 2020 remained at 43 percent (the same historically high level as recorded in 2018 and 2019).

“The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way that young people interact with one another and offers us an opportunity to examine whether drug-taking behavior has shifted through these changes,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institutes of Health. “Moving forward, it will be critical to investigate how and when different substances are used among this young population, and the impact of these shifts over time.”