The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council released a first-of-its-kind, hospital-specific report on nosocomial infections. The report identifies the actual number of hospital-acquired infections reported by Pennsylvanias 168 hospitals during 2005. It also includes other related quality measures, such as length of stay, mortality rates and average charges. In all, Pennsylvania hospitals reported 19,154 cases of hospital-acquired infections, resulting in 394,129 hospital days and $3.5 billion in charges. Mortality for patients with a hospital-acquired infection was 12.9% vs. 2.3% for patients without an infection.
The results were not risk-adjusted, but the report excludes complications of organ transplant and burn treatment, because those patients are at higher risk of infection. It also groups hospitals according to the complexity of services offered, the number of patients treated and the percentage of surgical procedures performed. The council said this first report would be best used as a tool and baseline rather than for hospital-to-hospital comparisons. Download the report and related information. -- by Cinda Becker