02 February 2010

Recommending: Consumer Reports on hospital infections

Constant readers, the magazine Consumer Reports has done an extended, state-by-state analysis of which hospitals do well, or very badly, in preventing one important category of infections: central line-associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSIs (pronounced klab-sees). It's a comprehensive package in easily understandable language. It's based on the state reporting data that some activists have managed to persuade states to disclose, along with another set of data that some hospitals voluntarily tender to the nonprofit firm The Leapfrog Group.

From the Consumer Reports story:
Poorly performing hospitals included some major teaching institutions. For instance, New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City reported 39 infections in 10,119 central-line days in 2008, roughly twice the national average for its mix of ICUs. The University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville didn't do much better, reporting 77 infections in 18,572 days for the 15 months ending in September 2009, also about two times the national average.
More encouragingly, nationwide, we counted 105 hospitals whose most recent public reports tallied zero central-line infections. They ranged from modest rural institutions to urban giants such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian hospital, which reported no infections among patients who were on central lines a total of 13,596 days in 2008.
It's well worth reading, and checking to see whether a hospital you may have used, or may be considering using, is on the good list or the bad list. Take a look.

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