DOH website reports hospital-specific infection rates
The Washington State Department of Health launched a hospital infection rate reporting website in January 2010. The Healthcare Associated Infections Program provides hospital-specific data on two important types of infections patients are vulnerable to in a hospital.
“Washington’s hospitals are enthusiastic participants in providing this new information about hospital infection rates,” said Carol Wagner, vice president for patient safety at the Washington State Hospital Association. “We believe that public reporting offers information that helps hospitals improve, assists consumers in making good decisions about hospital care, and creates the opportunity for collaboration between hospitals and quality experts.”
The two types of infections being reported are central line bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Washington’s hospitals use a series of scientifically proven safeguards against these infections.
Washington’s hospitals are dedicated to stopping the spread of infections. Stopping infections is challenging work: hospital patients have grown sicker and more vulnerable; drug resistant organisms are increasing in our society; and antibiotic overuse has affected people’s abilities to fight off infections.
Hospital patients are an important part of their own care team and have a role to play in preventing infections. Things patients can do to protect themselves include:
Definition: An outlier is a value that lies outside most other values in a set of data. With regards to reporting of ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line bloodstream infections, outlier hospitals may have lower or higher reporting rates as compared to data of other hospitals.