Pennsylvania may start reporting hospital infection rates to the public. The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council said it would propose to its board early next month how to best collect and report data on hospital-acquired infections. Hospitals have resisted the idea in the past, arguing there is no clear definition for a hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, infection. Council officials say they will rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition, which says a hospital-acquired infection is a condition not present or incubating in a patient at the time of admission. Council board members must approve the proposal for it to go forward, said Joseph Martin, a spokesman for the state agency, which has been charged with collecting and disseminating hospital data since 1986. Hospitals already are reporting infection data, but whether those infections were acquired in the hospital is subject to interpretation, said Martin Ciccocioppo vice president of research for The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. "It's difficult to say that a specific rate of infection is attributable to poor quality being provided at an institution," he said. -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. to consider disclosing hospital infection rates
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