Hospital transparency: CA posts infection rates

nurse bed patient silouhetteIn another move to respect a patient’s right to know, the California Department of Public Health has published a map of infection rates for hospitals in the state for select procedures, including knee replacements and fracture repairs.  Infections are direct representation of the quality of patient care.  When patients are readmitted to hospitals, it’s often due to suspect infections that are the result of low nurse to patient staffing levels or medical mistakes.  Map is here.

Patients and their families can now examine the rates of infections before they’re ever admitted or set foot in the hospital lobby.  The interactive map allows consumers to click on a hospital and see instantly if the infection rate is about the same, lower (better) than the average, or higher (worse) than the average for hospitals in the state.

Using this data along with procedure cost that the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) released earlier this year allows patients and their families to make the best decisions for their future patient care.  While this data isn’t available in Minnesota, soon the hospital staffing plans and actual staffing figures for hospitals will be available on a hospital association website.  Consumers will be able to check to see if the department they’ll may be treated in meets a minimum standard of staffing and care.  Look for that later in 2014.

Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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