Colorado Health Dept releases consumer report on hospital-acquired infections

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its annual report on health-facility-acquired infections Friday. A law requiring the reports was passed by the legislature in 2006. The report should be essential reading for anyone considering elective surgery and looking to determine which hospitals have the best records against patient infection.

“This is important because it gives people a decision-making aid if they are considering elective surgery. They can check the facility they are thinking of using, or check all the facilities in their area and see how they compare nationally, Dede de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative said.

“It also puts pressure on health care facilities to constantly improve. The national averages keep getting better, so hospitals have to improve just to stay average,” she said.

She said she is excited that this year Colorado became the first state to publish information on the infection rates at dialysis centers. “That is important because so many use those facilities,” she said.

From the State’s web site:

Health facility-acquired infections or healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. Colorado recognizes the seriousness of this public health problem and passed the Hospital Acquired Infections Disclosure Act in 2006. House Bill 1045 requires hospitals, hospital units, ambulatory surgery centers and dialysis centers to report healthcare-associated infections using the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). This act created the Patient Safety Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to implement this legislation by ensuring that health facilities disclose their HAIs and by producing public standard reports of HAIs in Colorado healthcare facilities.

If you go to the web site, look to the left side for a list of surgeries to find the ratings of various hospitals who do those surgeries.

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About the Author

Scot Kersgaard

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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