Author: Dan Pollock
CDC, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Surveillance Branch Chief
CMS announced today that its Hospital Compare website now includes central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) data reported from hospital ICUs to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). In many places, this is the first time consumers can see how well their local hospitals prevent CLABSIs, one of the most deadly and preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
These data reflect hospital performance during the first quarter of 2011. In many cases, there was not enough data to produce a valid score for a specific hospital. As new data are added each quarter to Hospital Compare, enough information will be available to report accurate measures for more hospitals. A view of statewide progress is also available, based on data from hospitals that participate in CMS’s Value-Based Purchasing program.
Consumers are encouraged to research their local hospitals on Hospital Compare and use the information as a discussion point with their healthcare providers. The information should not be used as the sole factor in choice of hospital.
These data are particularly useful for healthcare facility leadership and clinicians, who can pinpoint targets for new prevention efforts or offer reinforcement for successful prevention programs. CDC recommends that rates be shared in detail with clinicians and care teams, so specific issues can be identified and customized solutions implemented as soon as possible.
Today’s announcement marks an exciting step forward in an expanding partnership between CDC and CMS. This is the first of several patient safety elements tracked by NHSN for CMS’ Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS). Early this month, IPPS hospitals began reporting catheter-associated urinary tract infections and a number of surgical site infections through NHSN to CMS. Dialysis facilities also report to CMS through NHSN as part of CMS’ Quality Incentive Program. Several other measures have been approved for coming years. In addition, CDC works with CMS’ Survey and Certification team to ensure facility inspections include a look at basic infection control practices that protect patients from infection. See early results from that work here.
We congratulate the hospitals participating in NHSN. This work not only enhances patient safety at the bedside – it allows the country to make progress toward national prevention goals aimed at protecting patients everywhere.