Pennsylvania was one of first states to require hospitals to publicly disclose infection rates and to detail data on individual hospitals. Now they are starting to see the results of that policy. A study by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council spells out just how much is at stake with hospital-acquired infections--in lives and well being of course but also in dollars and cents.
The study found that, with new policies in place, the infection rate dropped from 19.2 per thousand in 2006 to 17.7 per thousand in 2007. The average bill for patients that contract a hospital-acquired infection during their hospital care is more than five times the bill for someone who gets out of the hospital infection-free.
Patients who do acquire such infections are six times more likely to die. And all that can be reduced just by holding hospitals publicly accountable.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.