Check your hospital’s infection rate now: New Alabama report

11870255-largeAlabama hospitals did better than the nation in preventing health-care associated infections across four categories, according to a report released today.

The report looked at 2012 data for these categories: catheter-associated urinary tract infections; central-line associated blood stream infections; surgical site infections associated with colon surgeries; and surgical site infections associated with abdominal hysterectomies.

The public can check how hospitals in their area did by going to the Alabama Department of Public Health website here.

Only three hospitals statewide performed worse than the national performance in a single category.

Thomas Hospital and the University of South Alabama Medical Center in the Southwest Region performed worse in catheter-associated urinary tract infections. And Shoals Hospital in the North Region performed worse  in surgical site infections for colon surgeries.

“Our hospitals performed better than the nation in all four categories being reported,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer said in a release. “In last year’s report, they were better in three of the four categories, which include catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections and two types of surgical site infections.

“The goal of the statewide reporting is to provide useful information to the public and to encourage greater reductions in infections,”  Williamson said. “Alabama’s hospitals are reducing infections. This report reflects the significant work of infection practitioners, nurses, physicians, and other hospital staff, and provides a great way for hospitals to identify and learn from top performers.”

Health officials say handwashing is vital to preventing infections, not just by hospital staff but by visitors to the patient’s room. Hospitals also work to reduce infections by making sure lines, such as IV’s and catheters, do not remain in the patient longer than necessary.


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