The Washington State Legislature required the data to be collected and made public in House Bill 1106 in 2007 and House Bill 2828 in 2010.
“Washington’s hospitals are enthusiastic participants in providing this new information about surgical 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 surgeries included in the new infection rate data are:
The website allows users to sort hospitals by city, county, alphabetically, and from highest to lowest or lowest to highest infection rates.
Washington’s hospitals use a series of scientifically proven safeguards against surgical infections and the new data helps hospitals evaluate the effectiveness of their processes. These processes include:
Washington’s hospitals are dedicated to stopping the spread of infections. Stopping infections is challenging work: today’s hospital patients are sicker and more vulnerable; drug resistant organisms are increasing; and antibiotic overuse has hampered the ability to fight 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:
“Hospitals are dedicated to the care and comfort of our patients. In most cases, the data show good results, though there are also areas for improvement. Our member hospitals are working hard to implement changes to stop surgical infections, and we expect the results to get better and better,” concluded Wagner.