Senate Bill 288, which has passed both House and Senate and is making its way to the Texas governor, would make certain hospital-acquired infection rates public information.
Under the bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jane Nelson, patients could go online and compare how well local hospitals fared in infection control.
"I think it will save lives in the long run," said Thomas DeChant of Austin, whose father, Thomas DeChant, died of Legionnaires' disease at a San Antonio hospital, and whose family lobbied for the bill.
"I also think it will make hospitals become more diligent in working to keep their infection rates down," he said. "It's going to possibly isolate where (in the hospital) these infections are coming from, and they'll be able to nip it that way, too.
At least 14 other states have passed laws requiring public reporting of hospital-acquired infections, and other state legislatures have filed bills.
"I think everyone agrees it's the right thing to do," said Amanda Engler, a spokeswoman for the Texas Hospital Association, which supported the bill. "The problem is there's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. And we wanted to make sure we did this the right way."
Read more (registration may be required).