Hospital-acquired conditions fall 17% over 3 years

According to the the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17% (1.3 million) between 2010 and 2013, saving an estimated 50,000 lives and $12 billion in health care costs.

Adverse drug events fell by 44%, pressure ulcers by 21% and catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 14%, among other reductions.

The findings are based on the AHRQ National Scorecard, which provides summary data on the national HAC rate for measurement activities associated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients initiative, which included more than 3,700 acute-care hospitals participating in Hospital Engagement Networks. 

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Consumer Reports ranks hospitals on infections

A new investigation from Consumer Reports looks into hospital infections to rate which hospitals do better or worse at protecting their patients from dangerous bugs.

Each year, about 648,000 people in the United States develop infections during a hospital stay, and about 75,000 die with them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these cases can be traced back to inappropriate antibiotic use, the very drugs that are supposed to fight infections.

For the first time ever, Consumer Reports included data on MRSA and C. diff infections -- two of the most common and deadly "superbugs" in the U.S. -- in their hospital ratings.
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ProPublica publishes scorecard on complication rates

ProPublica has published a scorecard of complication rates for almost 17,000 individual surgeons at more than 3,500 hospitals nationwide based on an analysis of Medicare data.  The scorecard allows users to search by location, by surgeon, or by hospital.

For its analysis, ProPublica analyzed Medicare data from 2009 to 2013 for eight common elective procedures, which accounted for 2.3 million total surgeries:

  • Knee replacements;
  • Hip replacements;
  • One type of spinal fusion on the neck;
  • Two types of spinal fusions in the lower back;
  • Gall bladder removals;
  • Prostate removals; and
  • Prostate resections.

CUSP initiative has reduced central-line bloodstream infections by 40%

A patient safety initiative funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has reduced the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units by 40 percent, according to an AHRQ press release.
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Johns Hopkins reduces pediatric bloodstream infections by 20% in oncology

Jonhs Hopkins Medical Center was able to reduce the number of central-line bloodstream infections in pediatric cancer patients by 20% over two years by following a set of basic precautions, by encouraging families to speak up when they observe noncompliance with the protocol and by honest analysis of the root cause behind every single infection, according to a Johns Hopkins press release.
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Incidence, mortality and cost of c diff infections are at all time high

The incidence, mortality, and medical costs of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) are at their highest levels in history, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to grant $218 million to improve patient safety

The Department of Health and Human Services will award $218 million to 26 hospitals and hospital associations to target initiatives aimed at reducing preventable injuries and complications from hospital-acquired conditions, according to Health Leaders Media.
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HRET receives $4 Million contract to reduce CAUTI rates nationwide

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded a one year, $4 million contract to The Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, to help hospitals nationwide reduce the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, according to an HRET press release.
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