Infection rates differ in MD, VA hospitals

A new analysis of infection rates in Maryland and Virginia hospitals is adding force to a consumer group's push for mandated infection rate reporting. Consumers Union is releasing a report today which highlights major differences in hospitals' compliance with infection-control guidelines in the two states (both of which, not so coincidentally, are home to federal legislators).

To conduct its analysis, CU drew on data compiled by CMS. On average, researchers found, the states' performance was similar to hospitals across the U.S. However, performance by individual hospitals varied widely when it came to three measures: how often preventive antibiotics were given in the hour before surgery, how often hospitals used the right antibiotic, and how often antibiotic therapy ended within 24 hours. For example, Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, VA told CMS that it gave 97 percent of surgery patients preventive antibiotics in the hour prior to surgery, while Norton Community Hospital only did so for 22 percent of surgeries.

To find out more about the states' hospital infection patterns:
- read this article from The Washington Post
- Read the Consumers Union report

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