"We realized it was a tough recruiting environment for trained infection preventionists as the federal government layered on" infection-control requirements, said Dr. Stephanie Jackson, chief quality officer of the five-hospital system. She added that such programs give HonorHealth's hospitals a resource that "smaller systems probably wouldn't be able to tap into."
Indeed, IBM Watson's study found that infection rates among community hospitals were worse than among teaching hospitals. The benchmark medium community hospitals reported HAI rates 44% lower than their peers while benchmark major teaching hospitals had just 8.2% lower HAI rates compared with their peers.
Of the results, Haas at APIC said, "I think that speaks in part to having a team of infection preventionists, which larger hospitals tend to have more of, and smaller hospitals tend to have fewer of."
Detailed data on infection rates are especially critical to prevention efforts, which can be hard for small hospitals with limited resources, Kaye said.
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, a major teaching hospital in Chicago on the 100 Top list for the seventh time, gets nearly all of its infection data from its parent system 13-hospital Advocate Health Care, said Susan Nordstrom Lopez, president of the hospital, noting that the data are provided in a "usable format."
"Our health information system provides an incredible amount of information to make determinations around how we prioritize infection control moving forward," said Ken Laube, vice president of clinical excellence at the hospital. "It's so important to drive quality improvement."
Lopez added, "I think it would be very difficult for (an independent) hospital to have the resources to access this big data."