The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Jan. 26 posted data on central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) occurring in hospital intensive care units to its Hospital Compare website.
The data were based on three months of hospital reporting (January 2011 through March 2011), and they will be updated quarterly. The website allows users to compare an individual hospital's performance in a variety of categories against a national benchmark rate.
Roughly 248,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals annually. Many result from use of a central vascular catheter, also known as a central line, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This is a milestone for patient safety that begins to make hospitals accountable for the two million patients who are infected each year,” Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project, said in a Feb. 1 statement. “Finally, Americans in all 50 states will be able to find out how well their hospital prevents these particular infections.”
Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, said it has called for the release of hospital CLABSI data since 2004, and it has worked with other advocacy groups to mandate hospital infection reporting in 30 states.
The Medicare hospital Fiscal Year 2011 inpatient prospective payment system final rule required all hospitals to begin reporting CLABSI data to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network by Jan. 1, 2011. The data were then shared with the Hospital Compare website.
Hospitals currently report bloodstream infections occurring in a surgical setting to the CDC, and those data are expected to be posted to the Hospital Compare website in 2013.
The Hospital Compare website is at http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/. The FY 2011 Final Rule is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-18/pdf/2011-19719.pdf