Workers Combat Hospital Infections

CNN reports on efforts to combat hospital-acquired infections, which affect 1.7 million people each year and kill 99,000, while adding $28 billion to the nation's overall health care bill, according to federal research.  "But there are signs of improvement. Pennsylvania, which requires the most extensive reporting of hospital-acquired infections, saw the annual rate for all infections drop 8 percent, according to the most recent figures available from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council." In a second example, CNN says, "The development and use of a simple checklist for a common procedure that threads a so-called central line to supply medicine directly to the bloodstream has been extraordinarily effective. The checklist made central line infections almost nonexistent at the 108 intensive care units in Michigan that adopted it. More than 1,700 lives -- and $246 million -- were saved in the first three years the checklist was adopted, according to the state hospital association" (Martin, 1/21).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.