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Consumer Reports Health: Central-Line Infection Rates in Tampa-St. Petersburg Area Hospitals Vary Dramatically
Date:2/2/2010

infections are simple, low-tech, and inexpensive, requiring a change of mindset and culture. All ICUs should be able to dramatically reduce if not eliminate these infections."      

The Consumer Reports online ratings are based on hospitals that publicly report their infection rates as a result of state laws and hospitals that voluntarily report to the Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C. based nonprofit that works with large employers to collect and disseminate quality information on individual hospitals in 38 regions in the U.S.  Citizen activists, including those working with Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, have helped enact laws in 27 states, forcing hospitals to publicly disclose their infection rates.  To date, 17 of those states have made that information publicly available.

Florida was one of the first states to disclose hospital infection information to the public but it does not report bloodstream infection rates.  Consequently, the Consumer Reports ratings for Florida hospitals are based on Leapfrog data.  "We are making progress toward safer care, as Florida and many other states require hospitals to account for infections," said Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project (www.SafePatientProject.org ).   "Still, almost two million patients each year suffer from hospital acquired infections, including central-line bloodstream infections, and there are thousands of hospitals whose infection rates fail to see the light of day."


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