Pa. issues hospital infection report card

HARRISBURG, PA.; September 25, 2008

Pennsylvania hospitals could do a better job of preventing bloodstream infections.

That's the word from a new report card from the Healthcare Cost Containment Council.

The report, covering 51 common conditions and procedures, shows that these infections killed 42-hundred people last year - up 53 per cent since 2003.

It names 9 area hospitals with higher than expected infection rates.

They are Cancer Treatments Centers, Crozer-Chester, Fox Chase Cancer Center University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern, Phoenixville, St. Mary, Temple University, and Jennersville Regional Medical Center.

Three other hospitals - Bryn Mawr, Grand View, and Albert Einstein Medical Center - had fewer bloodstream infections than expected.

The report also covers other diagnoses such as strokes, as well as gall bladder surgery, hysterectomies, and other operations.

But this could be the last report card from this agency. It is caught in a political standoff between Governor Ed Rendell and Senate Republicans, which threaten to shut down the council.

It did shut down temporarily this summer, until the Governor issued an executive order re-opening it through November.

Many in healthcare say the agency, nicknamed PHC4, has had a powerful influence on the quality of care and patient safety in Pennsylvania. Its tracking of hospital costs and performance have made Pennsylvania a model for similar agencies and even legislation in other states.

Check out the full PHC4 hospital report. full PHC4 Hospital report
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