It appears that the nation’s hospitals are failing to stamp out common infections that can turn life-threatening for patients. The Health and Human Services Department’s 2009 quality report, released last month, revealed that “very little progress” on eliminating health care infections has been made. For example, rates of bloodstream infections following surgery increased by eight percent. Infections from urinary catheters rose by 3.6 percent.
It seems fairly certain that such medical missteps will have both health and financial consequences. The new health care overhaul law will impose penalties on hospitals for preventable readmissions and certain infections that can usually be avoided with good nursing care. The infection rate increase presents a most serious problem and one that must be dealt with. Folks go to hospitals to get well – not to get sick – and that is something people have a right to expect. The cause of the infections in many cases is a failure to do simple things such as washing hands as required by hospital rules.
Source: HHS Reports
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