Mandatory public reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates: a report from California.

Link to article at PubMed

Mandatory public reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates: a report from California.

Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Apr;30(4):723-9

Authors: Halpin HA, Milstein A, Shortell SM, Vanneman M, Rosenberg J

Abstract
One way to motivate hospitals to improve patient safety is to publicly report their rates of hospital-acquired infections, as California is starting to do this year. We conducted a baseline study of California's acute care hospitals just before mandatory reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates to the state began, in 2008. We found variability in many areas: For example, 70.1 percent of hospitals said that they were fully implementing evidence-based guidelines to fight infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, but 22.8 percent of hospitals had not adopted any. Our analysis showed that rural hospitals, many of which lack resources to implement needed procedures, faced the greatest challenges in reporting and improving infection rates. Our findings should be of interest to Medicare policy makers who will implement the hospital-acquired infection performance measures in the Affordable Care Act, and to leaders in the thirty-eight states that have enacted legislation requiring reports of hospital-acquired infection rates. California's baseline data also present a unique opportunity to assess the impact of mandatory and public reporting laws.

PMID: 21471494 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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