Consumer Reports Ranks Hospital Infection Rates

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Consumer Reports Ranks Hospital Infection Rates

So-so scores for California

By Working Nurse
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Consumer Reports, a leading reviewer of consumer products and services, also evaluates hospital safety. The magazine recently issued its latest rankings of how successful more than 3,000 hospitals across the country have been in preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

Smaller Hospitals Shine

Consumer Reports bases its rankings on each evaluated hospital’s reported number of central line-associated bloodstream infections; surgical site infections; catheter-associated urinary tract infections; and, starting this year, CDC data on cases of MRSA and Clostridium difficile, two of the most common and dangerous HAIs.

Out of all the hospitals evaluated, only 322 reported no cases of MRSA and only 357 reported no cases of Clostridium difficile. Simply reporting cases of these infections didn’t necessarily mean a low score — some hospitals scored well in these areas because their infection rates were much lower than those of other, similar hospitals.

Overall, teaching hospitals and large institutions performed the worst on infection prevention while the best scores were recorded by non-teaching and smaller facilities. The scores are adjusted for institution size, type and patient mix, although Consumer Reports acknowledges that data may be skewed by several variables. For example, larger hospitals might be serving more complex patients or might be better at reporting than are smaller facilities.

Mediocre Results in California

No California hospitals were among the highest-ranked in HAI prevention. Oak Valley Hospital District in Oakdale, near Modesto, had the top ranking in the state, with a score of 70 out of a possible 100 points.

The rankings were based on hospital performance data for the period of October 2013 through September 2014. You can read a summary of the report’s major findings on the Consumer Reports website, but the complete survey results are available only to subscribers.

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