Medicare's Hospital Compare Introduces
Information on Deadly Hospital Infections
CDC, CMS collaborate to advance
public reporting of important hospital quality indicators deadly
diarrhea and MRSA - see guide for finding info
Dec. 13, 2013 - Senior citizens, the most regular
hospital patients, have long wanted more information about deadly
infections that have been occurring to frequently in hospitals.
Yesterday, the Medicare website Hospital Compare provided the first
look at how their local hospitals are doing at
preventing Clostridium difficile infections (deadly diarrhea) and
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream
The new data was gathered through
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)
National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). This information, as well
as other hospital performance measures, is collected as part of the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Inpatient
Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and is publicly available on the
Hospital Compare website.
The numbers represent only the
first quarter of 2013; measurements of how hospitals are doing will be
more precise and provide a more complete picture as more information is
collected over time. The next update, which will represent six months
of data, is scheduled for April 2014.
“Sunlight is a great disinfectant,
and public reporting of hospital infections is the sunlight the public
has asked for and deserves when it comes to their health and safety,”
said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Hospitals understand the
importance of reporting, and their leaders are using this information to
prevent infections and keep their patients safer.”
The Hospital IQR Program uses a
variety of tools to help stimulate and support improvements in patient
care, including the Hospital Compare website, which helps distribute
objective, easy-to-understand data on hospital performance.
Hospital Compare website enables consumers to make informed choices
and gives hospital leaders and their staff comparative information to
help drive improvement,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS chief medical
officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.
“Central line bloodstream infections have decreased more than 40
percent through transparency and improvement efforts, which has saved
thousands of lives, and we hope to see the same positive results for
these two common infections.”
Enter your Zip, City of State (to compare hospitals)
Click on boxes beside 3 hospitals you want to check
Go to bottom of the page and click green button “Compare Now”
Click on tab for Readmissions, Complications and Deaths
Read down list of choices and click Healthcare Associated
Information drops in below – read down list to find information
C. difficile causes at least
250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths every year, and was recently
categorized by CDC as an urgent threat to patient safety.
On the other hand, although still a
common and severe threat to patients, invasive MRSA infections in
healthcare settings appear to be declining. Between 2005 and 2011
overall rates of invasive MRSA dropped 31 percent. Success began with
preventing central-line-associated bloodstream infections caused by MRSA,
for which rates fell nearly 50 percent from 1997 to 2007.
Some facilities that do not
currently have a sufficient amount of data to collect may not have their
infection ratios included in the Hospital IQR Program and subsequently,
on the Hospital Compare website. For example, the number of C.
difficile and MRSA bloodstream infections in some smaller facilities
might not provide enough information to calculate infection ratios until
they report additional calendar quarters of data.
In accordance with the clinical
quality measure used by CMS and CDC for laboratory-identified C.
difficile and MRSA bloodstream infections, the Hospital Compare website
only reflects hospital-onset infections, which are defined as those
detected after patients are hospitalized for a minimum of three days.
Patients whose infections arose outside of the hospital are not
included in the infection counts for the quality measure.
Major teaching hospitals, hospitals
with more than 400 beds and those with high community-onset rates
continue to have the highest risk for C. difficile and MRSA bloodstream
infections, all of which is taken into account by risk adjustment when
the clinical quality measure is calculated.
CDC and CMS continue to provide
hospitals with the training and tools to look deeper into their
healthcare-associated infection data to target prevention efforts.
Hospitals are encouraged to participate in a variety of federal
healthcare-associated infection prevention efforts, including those made
state health departments, CMS
Quality Improvement Organizations, and
Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Networks.
Additionally, CDC is working with
hospitals and healthcare information technology vendors to build
capacity for electronic reporting of antibiotic use and resistance data
to NHSN. This work includes combining data from hospital admission,
discharge, and patient transfer information (ADT) systems with data from
medication administration and laboratory information systems. More
systematic reporting of antibiotic use and resistance data will help
hospitals assure that powerful medications are used appropriately.
Additional data from ADT systems, including transfer destinations also
will provide a comprehensive view of patient movement between facilities
and readmissions associated with MRSA and C. difficile infections.
Given that these infections can arise in non-hospital settings,
tracking patient movements and the onset of infections is critical to
protecting patients and saving lives.
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