PA hospitals battle central-line infections

Inspired part by urgent clinical needs, and part by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's campaign to lower hospital-acquired infection rates, a group of hospitals across metro Philadelphia have begun a new battle against central-line infections. While hospitals routinely work to beat back against such infections, Rendell may soon give them an added incentive, by eliminating state payments for the additional cost of such infections. (Rendell is also proposing to give hospitals bonuses for lowering their infection rates.)

Regional hospitals working to lower central-line infection rates include academic medical center Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Chester County Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Several have had good luck with their efforts, including Chester County, which lowered its central-line-associated infection rate 25 percent last year by standardizing the infection control process. Another success story is the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which slashed its rate of such infections by 30 percent in 2006 through a new patient-safety program.

To find out more about the hospitals' infection control efforts:
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer article