Share this site! The Safe Patient Project is a Consumers Union campaign focused on eliminating medical harm, improving FDA oversight of prescription drugs and promoting disclosure laws that give information to consumers about health care safety and quality.

New York report details hospital infection rates

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New York Report Details Rates for Hospital Acquired Infections Across State

Consumers Union: Reporting Program Serves as Model For Rest Of Nation

A new report issued today by the New York Department of Health provides a hospital-by-hospital accounting of how many patients are getting sick from certain infections acquired during treatment throughout the state. The report is being issued in accordance with a public disclosure law enacted by state lawmakers in 2005 and the manner in which it is being implemented serves as a model for hospital infection programs according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

“This report provides invaluable information to New Yorkers looking to find out how their local hospital stacks up when it comes to keeping patients safe from infections,” said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project ( “New York’s infection reporting program stands out as a model because the state has invested the staffing and funding needed to provide technical assistance to hospitals and to validate the information submitted by them to ensure an accurate look at each hospital’s record.”

The New York report is based on 2008 data submitted by 186 hospitals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network. The State Department of Health used the information to report infection rates by hospital for certain surgical infections (colon, coronary artery bypass graft, and hip replacement) and central line-associated blood stream infections in adult, pediatric, and neo-natal intensive care units. New York issued a statewide aggregate report last year based on 2007 data, but this is the first time the state has provided hospital-specific data on infection rates.

Of the three surgical infections analyzed in the report, the state found that statewide infection rates were highest for colon surgery (5.0 percent), followed by CABG (2.2 percent for chest infections) and hip replacement surgery (1.2 percent). Central line-associated bloodstream infections were highest in pediatric ICUs (3.5 infections per 1,000 central line days). More important, the facility-specific rates show a good amount of variation among hospitals in the state. This will help consumers make more informed health care choices and allow hospitals to see how they compare with other facilities.

For more detailed information, including hospital-specific data, see:

Twenty six states require some degree of public reporting of hospital acquired infection rates. For a summary of state laws on hospital acquired infections, see:

Lisa McGiffert – 512-477-4431, ext 126
Michael McCauley – 415-431-6747, ext 126

Geographies: ,