Texas makes hospital infection rates public

Following national trends, the Texas state legislature has passed a new measure which will make hospital infection rates public. The measure requires hospitals to report on rates of several specific infections, including bloodstream infections and surgical site infections from colon, hip and knee surgeries. Analysts predict that the legislation will spawn tighter methods to track in-hospital sources of infection, including the use of nasal swabs to test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), particularly to screen high-risk patients for the disease. (One Texas health system--Methodist Health System--is already finding that 20 to 30 percent of high-risk patients test positive.) The legislation should give hospitals additional motivation to step up hand-washing education and tracking, which can do a great deal to stop the spread of MRSA.

To learn more about the legislation:
- read this Dallas Morning News article