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Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital acquired infections are a leading cause of death in the U.S. Consumers Union supports public disclosure of infection rates so that you can choose the safest hospital and hospitals will have an incentive to improve.

Click here for State Health Care Acquired Infection Reports

Consumers Union Documents

  • Consumer Reports targets antibiotic-resistant superbugs
    Source: Consumer Reports (Tuesday June 2, 2015)

    Consumer Reports announces its commitment to help rein in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The initiative kicks off with Consumer Reports President and CEO Marta Tellado participating in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship. “Antibiotic-resistant infection is the health crisis of our generation,” Tellado says.

  • How to Keep Antibiotics Working

    Information and advice from Consumer Reports.

  • Safe Patient Project activist Kathy Day featured in "Inside Consumer Reports" newsletter
    Source: Consumer Reports (Friday September 12, 2014)

    Kathy Day’s patient safety activism highlighted. Kathy lost her father to hospital-acquired MRSA and has been working to improve patient safety ever since.

  • Consumers Union comments to National Quality Forum (NQF) on sociodemographic factors
    Source: Consumers Union (Wednesday April 16, 2014)

    Consumers Union letter to National Quality Forum on its draft report “Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status or Other Sociodemographic Factors” regarding risk-adjustment for some provider performance measures. CU’s primary concern is that such adjustments will hide differences in outcomes on quality and safety measures that exist when health care is delivered to patients from certain sociodemographic groups – for example, low-income, race, or age. Performance measures should reveal these differences.

  • Video: Testimony of Consumers Union at Senate hearing on medical errors
    Source: Bernie Sanders (Friday July 18, 2014)

    Watch Lisa McGiffert (Consumers Union Safe Patient Project Director) testify at a Senate hearing on medical errors, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

  • 5 Steps For Care Coordination With Your Doctors

    Without good coordination of care, risks for medical error rise significantly. Use these five Consumer Reports tips to make sure your doctors are doing the right thing.

  • 11 tips for how to complain about your medical care

    Check out Public Citizen’s fantastic guide for where to complain, written by Alan Levine, member of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Network.

  • Does your doctor wash their hands?

    Check out this great new video about hand hygiene practices by health care workers created by the Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients.

  • 3 Hospital Superbugs You Should Know By Name

    Last week, various news outlets reported on a superbug outbreak at UCLA hospital linked to two patient deaths and nearly 180 possibly infected.

  • A Surprising Way to Avoid Medical Errors in the Hospital

    Most of us have a bad waiter or waitress experience. Maybe they were rude, made a mistake with your dish, or overcharged you. Similarly, people have had less than optimal experiences in the hospital, as a patient or family member of a patient.

News Articles

  • Sepsis, A Wily Killer, Stymies Doctors' Efforts To Tame It
    Source: NPR (Monday May 4, 2015)

    Sepsis is “one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.”

  • Reports to Feds on deadly bacteria outbreaks arrived late
    Source: USA Today (Wednesday April 15, 2015)

    This system of filing these (MDR) reports is the only thing in place that can tell us that devices are having problems, (and) … it often puts the interests of (device) manufacturers and the hospitals ahead of the public,” says Lisa McGiffert, who heads the Safe Patient Project at Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports. “It’s a pretty weak system.”

  • Texas Scientists Find Antibiotic Resistance Blowing in Wind
    Source: Texas Tribune (Sunday March 29, 2015)

    “The study may help explain how bacteria that no longer respond to antibiotics could be spreading and causing hard-to-treat infections in humans.”

  • To reduce malpractice litigation, stop making mistakes
    Source: The Hill (Monday March 16, 2015)

    A new Public Citizen report about obstetric safety in the United States concludes the U.S. “has a poor childbirth safety record, likely due in part to the failure of obstetrics practitioners to develop and adhere to standardized practices.”

  • Source: CDC Hospitals Don't Have to Tell You About Deadly Superbug Risks
    Source: Bloomberg (Friday March 6, 2015)

    “Hospitals don’t have a legal obligation to tell patients about the presence of pathogens — even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Recent outbreaks, linked to contaminated endoscopes at UCLA and other hospitals, are bringing this policy gap to the fore.”

Research and Reports