Hospital Acquired Infections

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Consumers Union Documents

  • Staying safe in the hospital (pdf) (October 14, 2010)
  • Consumers Union “To Err Is Human, To Delay Is Deadly” Webcast (February 1, 2010)
  • Model Hospital Infections Disclosure Act (January 4, 2010)
  • Consumers Union Report: Cutting Surgical Infections (July 8, 2009)
  • To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly (May 1, 2009)
  • Video: Advice on staying safe in the hospital–from the experts (March 29, 2011)
  • Testimony of Elizabeth M. Imholz, Consumers Union Special Projects Director before CA Senate Health Committee (March 16, 2011)
  • Testimony of Consumers Union on Public Reporting of Medical Harm in HI (February 14, 2011)
  • Hospital infections: New studies find concerns for surgery patients and children (January 11, 2011)
  • California Issues Reports on Hospital-Acquired Infections (January 2, 2011)
  • 6 steps to fewer complications after a Cesarean (December 13, 2010)
  • Spreading Germs: Low Rates of Flu Vaccination Among California Healthcare Workers Put Patients at Risk (PDF) (September 1, 2010)

Policy and Legislation

  • Model Hospital Infections Disclosure Act (January 4, 2010)
  • CU Summary State Hospital Infection Disclosure Laws (October 5, 2009)
  • Medicare releases hospital specific data (April 1, 2011)
  • Demonstrating Return on Investment for Infection Prevention and Control (September 1, 2010)

Consumers Union News Releases

  • New HHS Regulations Require Public Reporting of Certain Hospital Infections (August 2, 2010)
  • Consumer Reports Poll Finds High Levels of Concern About Medical Harm & Support For Public Ratings on Hospital Safety (March 31, 2011)
  • CDC: 58% drop in central line infections in ICUs (March 1, 2011)
  • California Issues Reports on Hospital-Acquired Infections (January 2, 2011)
  • Report Finds Medical Errors More Common (November 17, 2010)
  • Report Finds That Only Half of California Hospital Workers Got Flu Vaccine (September 2, 2010)
  • Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates Will Save Lives & Dollars (June 18, 2010)

Blog Posts

  • Video: Advice on staying safe in the hospital–from the experts (March 25, 2011)


  • Hospital infection disclosure bills gaining support
    A package of bills to require hospitals and other medical facilities to expand their reporting of infections acquired by patients under their care appears to be gaining support.
  • Media Reports about Drug-Resistant Infections
    CDC’s Arjun Srinivasan, MD: “We have prevention recommendations–they just need to be enacted.”Source: CDC Safe Healthcare Blog (March 29, 2011)
  • CT Hospitals Beat National Average On ICU Bloodstream Infections
    This report is the first of its kind in Connecticut, allowing consumers to view central line associated bloodstream infection data reported by Connecticut hospitals.
  • Connecticut Department of Health Issues First Public Report of Hospital Infections
    The Connecticut Department of Public Health has released a report on central line-associated bloodstream infections acquired in Connecticut acute-care hospitals.
  • Drug-resistant strain of pneumonia shows up in Southern California
    A drug-resistant strain of bacterial pneumonia thought to be contained on the East Coast has shown up in unexpectedly high numbers in Southern California, but so far the numbers have not spiked in Ventura County.
  • Video: Drug-Resistant Bacterium Can Kill
  • ABC News reports on a new superbug (CRKP) speading across the country and powerful medicines are unable to treat them. Steve Winters interviewed about his mother who died after acquiring multiple hospital infections.
  • Harrison infection rates improve, but remain higher than state average
  • WA hospital says infection reporting is helping
  • Superbug CRKP Increasing in California; 350+ Superbug Infections
  • Superbug Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, has been found in a number of Los Angeles County hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Feds to Follow ProPublica, Release Dialysis Clinic Data
  • Federal regulators say they are moving to make once-confidential data about the performance of kidney dialysis clinics more readily available to the public.
  • Son Campaigns Against Hospital-Borne Infections That Killed Mom
  • Steve Winters’ mother died last year of infections he says she contracted while in the hospital. Now he’s joined a campaign to publicize what health experts say is a growing menace.
  • A century later, openess still gets tepid embrace
  • Even though progress has been made, still, some in the health care industry resist the calls for transparency.
  • Admitting harm protects patients
  • A transparency battle is underway in Nevada. Nevada lawmakers are considering bills requiring hospitals statewide to publicly report injuries suffered in their facilities and other quality measures.
  • Bills would make hospitals’ data on safety issues public
  • Several patient safety bills have been filed in the Nevada legislature in hopes of bringing more transparency to medical care in Nevada hospitals.
  • ‘Superbug’ spreading to Southern California hospitals
  • More than 350 cases of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, have been reported at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County, mostly among elderly patients at skilled-nursing and long-term care facilities, according to a study by Dr. Dawn Terashita, an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
  • Curbing Infections in American Hospitals
  • Hospitals can eliminate most infections through good infection control.
  • Op-ed: UK wrong to downplay loss of nursing honor
  • Dr. Kevin Kavanagh writes an op-ed on nursing care and public reporting of hospital infections.
  • Hospital-Acquired Infections: A First-hand Account
    David Meyer, a former contractor who lives in the Sacramento area, found himself in the hospital after a motorcycle accident five years ago. His surgery wouldn’t heal for nearly a year – the result of an undiagnosed infection.
  • Medical Harm: What’s a consumer to do?
    Interviews with a consumer advocate (Betsy Imholz) and a journalist (William Heisel) about their work to make medical harm information more transparent, and what consumers can do to inform themselves.
  • Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections: Patients Must Be “Safety Partners”
    Guest post by Dr. Julia Hallisy on hospital-acquired infections and patient tips for avoiding infections.
  • Hospital infection rate down since 2006
    People who picked up an infection during a hospital stay in Pennsylvania in 2009 were more than five times as likely to die than those who did not, according to a new report.
  • Hospital-acquired germs cause thousands of re-admissions
    Hospital-acquired germs may have contributed to several thousand rehospitalizations in Pennsylvania, according to a health care review agency.
  • Hospital infections still a problem in Pennsylvania
    Health care-associated infections across the state dropped 12.5 percent from 2008 to 2009.
  • Hospital infection tied to readmission
    Pennsylvanians who developed an infection during a hospital stay were nearly five times more likely to be readmitted than healthy patients, and the highest readmission rates were among older patients and ones who had surgery, a new report released today says.
  • Infections increase chance of hospital re-admission, PHC4 report says
    Three out of every 10 Pennsylvania patients who acquired a health-care associated infection (HAI) in 2009 were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days for an infection or complication, according to a new report released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
  • Infections: A threat to hospitals and patients
    Reducing the number of health care-associated infections is not only in patients’ best interest, hospitals’ economic health might also depend on it.
  • Pennsylvania shows hospital infections can follow you home
    If you’re unlucky enough to catch an infection at the hospital, there’s a good chance the bad luck will follow you home. A new report from a state agency found that 30 percent of people who get an infection during a hospital stay are readmitted within 30 days because of infection or complication.
  • Glenwood case led to national recall
    Local boy who’s battling leukemia contracted bacterial infection from tainted alcohol wipes recalled by the FDA two months later.
  • MGH faces suit over drug error that killed woman
    Massachusetts woman dies from drug overdose in the hospital. The hospital staff gave her a large dosage of blood thinner which resulted in internal bleeding and ultimately death.
  • Op Ed: Hospital acquired infection is the gorilla in the room
    “I guess America’s present “Wild West” health care system does allow lots of folks to make a handsome profit. But the rest of us are suffering from high health insurance premiums and unacceptably high fatality rates caused by medical errors.”
  • HealthGrades study finds patients are 46% less likely to experience error in top-rated hospitals
    The study finds there is a significant gap in the probability of experience a patient safety event between hospitals with good patient safety records and those with lower patient safety performance standards.

Research and Reports

  • Why Not The Best? Comparative Reports on Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections
    Users of can now search for and compare data for nearly 1,000 hospitals on the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)—one of the most lethal hospital-acquired complications. The data show wide variation in CLABSI incidence, in spite of strong evidence on how to prevent them. The updated data is made possible through a partnership among The Commonwealth Fund, The Leapfrog Group, and Consumers Union.
  • Public Reporting of Hospital Infections in Kentucky
    Dr Kevin Kavanagh, MD Testifying in Support of HB 291
  • Maryland Hospital Guide
    This Guide includes measures that compare hospital performance on processes of care quality measures that are designed to prevent infections for patients undergoing surgery and on outcome measures of care.
  • Medicare releases hospital specific data
    Medicare released hospital specific data on hospital-acquired conditions – preventable errors that happened to hospital patients covered by Medicare over a 21-month period. This spreadsheet, which is available in a ZIP FILE, reveals only a small fraction of the 1 in 4 hospital medical errors, but is the first time this information has been made public. Later this year, the information will be presented on Hospital Compare in a more consumer-friendly format.
  • What To Do If You Have a Concern About Quality in a Maine Nursing Home
  • What to Do if You Have a Concern about Quality in a Maine Hospita
  • Advice and resources for dealing with quality concerns
  • State-Specific Supplement to the National Healthcare-Associated Infection Standardized Infection Ratio Report: July 2009 through December 2009
  • State by state summary report on central line associated bloodstream infections