Safety ‘mile­stone’

Hospi­tal Com­pare adds cen­tral line in­fec­tion data

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - Mau­reen Mckin­ney

Users of the CMS’ Hospi­tal Com­pare web­site can now ac­cess their hospi­tal’s rates of dan­ger­ous and pre­ventable cen­tral lin­e­as­so­ci­ated blood­stream in­fec­tions. Fa­cil­i­tyspe­cific in­fec­tion data is posted on the agency’s site and will be up­dated quar­terly.

The move drew praise from pa­tient-safety ad­vo­cates, who have cham­pi­oned in­creased trans­parency and the use of check­lists and other tools to re­duce such in­fec­tions.

“Con­sumer ad­vo­cates across the na­tion have worked tire­lessly to end the se­crecy over hospi­tal in­fec­tion rates,” said Lisa Mcgif­fert, di­rec­tor of Con­sumers Union’s Safe Pa­tient Project, in a news re­lease. “This is a mile­stone for pa­tient safety that be­gins to make hos­pi­tals ac­count­able for the 2 mil­lion pa­tients who are in­fected each year,” she added, re­fer­ring to the es­ti­mated to­tal num­ber of pa­tients af­fected an­nu­ally by hospi­tal-ac­quired in­fec­tions.

“Fi­nally, Amer­i­cans in all 50 states will be able to find out how well their hospi­tal pre­vents these par­tic­u­lar in­fec­tions,” Mcgif­fert added. “Public dis­clo­sure drives hos­pi­tals to im­prove care and helps pa­tients choose hos­pi­tals with bet­ter safety records.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­vi­sions to the in­pa­tient prospec­tive pay­ment sys­tem, is­sued in July 2010, hos­pi­tals were re­quired to be­gin re­port­ing their rates of cen­tral-line in­fec­tions be­gin­ning in Jan­uary 2011 in or­der to re­ceive their full pay­ment up­date for 2013.

The CMS also stip­u­lated that hos­pi­tals must re­port their in­fec­tion rates through the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion’s Na­tional Health­care Safety Net­work, a se­cure on­line sur­veil­lance sys­tem that uses stan­dard­ized def­i­ni­tions and pro­to­cols.

“This in­for­ma­tion al­lows CDC and CMS to high­light preven­tion and pin­point where more work is needed on these avoid­able in­fec­tions,” CDC Di­rec­tor Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a CMS news re­lease.

There were about 41,000 cen­tral lin­e­as­so­ci­ated blood­stream in­fec­tions in 2009, re­sult­ing in thou­sands of deaths and to­tal­ing nearly $700 mil­lion in ad­di­tional health­care costs, ac­cord­ing to CDC data quoted in the CMS re­lease.

The cen­tral line in­fec­tion data ap­pears un­der Hospi­tal Com­pare’s “pa­tient safety mea­sures” tab, along­side mea­sures of hospi­tal-ac­quired con­di­tions such as pres­sure ul­cers and se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions such as post-sur­gi­cal blood clots.

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