State Health Agency Releases Reports on Hospital Infections

TOPIC ALERT:

On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released reports detailing infection rates at hundreds of hospitals across the state, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports.

In a release, DPH Director Ron Chapman said, "The information in these reports is intended to increase awareness and lead to appropriate changes that will decrease the number of these infections" (Mitchell, Chico Enterprise-Record, 1/7).

Background

A 2008 state law requires hospitals to report data on health care-associated infections and directs the state to publish the information online (Lavelle, U-T San Diego, 1/6). The reports represent the second annual release of California hospital infection data (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1/7).

State officials said they would make California a leader nationwide in disclosing hospital infection data to help encourage reforms and prevent patient deaths (Schoch, Sacramento Bee, 1/6).

Details of the Reports

The reports include data on:

Key Findings

According to the reports:

  • Hospitals had CLIP strategies in place in 93% of cases where such strategies were needed;
  • 50% of all hospitals that provide critical care to infants reported no CLABSIs in those care settings;
  • 49% of hospitals reported no MRSA and 59% reported no VRE infections;
  • C. difficile rates at long-term acute care hospitals are more than double the rates at general acute care hospitals -- a trend likely related to the longer length of patients' stay at long-term care facilities (Lake County News, 1/6); and
  • Facilities that had an employee vaccination rate of more than 90% had a mandatory policy to receive an inoculation or wear a mask (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1/7).

Kathleen Billingsley, DPH's chief deputy director, said updated reports will be released in July "with even more data than we had before, and even better data" (Sacramento Bee, 1/6).

The Sacramento Bee story was produced by the California HealthCare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting. CHCF publishes California Healthline.


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