The nation's hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics continue to fall short when it comes to performing necessary—and sometimes very basic—steps to prevent the spread of infection that can cause illness or death, new data from the Joint Commission show.
The Joint Commission, which accredits the quality and safety of healthcare operators, released its ranking of standards (PDF) that proved most problematic for healthcare companies in the first six months of 2013. The ranking, organized by type of provider, lists the five standards for which healthcare organizations were most often not in compliance.
Infection prevention and hand washing were cited as standards where ambulatory care, hospital and long-term-care providers struggled. The results are largely unchanged from the previous two years.
Nearly half of hospitals, 47%, did not comply with processes to reduce the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies. Among ambulatory care operators, such as outpatient surgery centers, 37% failed to meet the same standard.