Healthcare groups fight hospital infection rates

As part of their campaign to intensify hospitals' efforts to prevent infections, a number of healthcare groups have endorsed a number of safety and hygiene recommendations. The practices addressed include the removal of catheters, washing hands and hygiene maintenance for intensive care patients. The recommendations aren't groundbreaking--similar suggestions have been made for two decades--but the groups want hospitals to quickly adopt the practices. The guidelines include practical ways hospitals can cut down on avoidable, and possibly deadly, hospital-acquired infections.

"We know what to do, but it's how to do it where we fail," said Patrick Brennan, a University of Pennsylvania epidemiologist and  president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, one of the leaders behind the effort. "That is what these documents attempt to address." As of Oct. 1, CMS will no longer reimburse hospitals for certain avoidable infections.

- read the Boston Globe article