Hospital Compare now shows how hospitals deal with C. diff and MRSA

Patients can now learn how their local hospitals are working to prevent C. diff and MRSA bloodstream infections, thanks to new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

The data reflects only hospital-onset infections (those detected after patients are hospitalized for a minimum of three days) that were recorded in the first quarter of 2013. All of the information is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and is publicly available on the Hospital Compare website, according to the CDC's announcement.

Major teaching hospitals, hospitals with more than 400 beds and those with high community-onset rates continue to have the highest risk for both C. diff and MRSA, the announcement said. 

C. diff causes approximately 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths each year, leading the CDC to categorize it as an urgent threat to patient safety. MRSA infections in hospitals are on the decline, however--they dropped 31 percent between 2005 and 2011.

The CDC is working with hospitals and healthcare IT vendors to implement electronic reporting of antibiotic use and resistance data to the NHSN, which will help hospitals use medication appropriately to deal with these infections, according to the announcement.

To learn more:
- here's the CDC announcement
- check out the Hospital Compare website

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