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Hospitals to begin reporting acquired infection data

Posted On Wed, August 4, 2010

Every year over 30,000 Americans die from an infection they caught while in the hospital, according to the Safe Patient Project.

Such a staggering number may come as a surprise to many. Now, thanks to new rules by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, patients will have a better idea how their hospital compares to others in terms of hospital-acquired infections.

Effective next year, hospitals that participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "pay-for-reporting" program will be required to report data on acquired infections.

"Making infection rates public is a powerful motivator for hospitals to improve care and keep patients safe," says Safe Patient Project director Lisa McGiffert. "This is an enormous victory for patient safety advocates who have worked tirelessly to hold hospitals accountable for failing to eliminate infections."

In the Pennsylvania alone, over 30,000 patients contracted an infection in 2006, according to the Clean Hands Saves Lives organization. Such infections cause patients to have a death rate almost six times higher than those without an infection.

Hospital care expenses for treating infections can be staggering, even with a health insurance company helping to pick up the tab.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19916798-ADNFCR

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