Hospital Infection Reporting


WHERE CONSUMERS CAN GET THE BEST INFORMATION

ON SAFE HOSPITAL CARE

RID is pleased to provide you with this state-by-state list of where you can go to get the best information on hospitals in your area. We have contacted state health departments in all fifty states, and also provided a handy instruction sheet on how to use the federal website Hospital Compare. We hope this will help you and your family.

  1. INTRODUCTION: The Importance of Hospital Infection Report Cards

A Brooklyn woman wishes she had known more when she took her 63-year old mother to the hospital. Johanna had slipped and broken her shoulder at a restaurant, and no one expected that she would be in the hospital for more than a day or two. But a Staph infection ravaged her body for four months and killed her. “What happened to my mother shouldn’t happen to anyone,” said her daughter. “If only I had had enough information to choose a hospital with a better infection record.”

If you need to be hospitalized, wouldn’t you want to know which hospital in your area has the lowest infection rate?

The good news is that twenty-eight states have passed laws to provide the public with hospital infection report cards. Publicly comparing hospital performance will motivate hospitals to improve.

New York’s experience with another type of hospital report card proves this. In 1989, New York became the first state to publish each hospital’s risk-adjusted mortality rate for cardiac bypass surgery. The results? Deaths from bypass surgery dropped 40 percent, giving New York the lowest mortality rate in the nation for that procedure. Critics of hospital report cards speculate that deaths went down in New York because hospitals avoided treating the sickest patients, fearing that high-risk operations would bring down the hospital’s grade. However, the evidence proves that’s untrue. Deaths declined for a different reason: hospitals forced their worst-performing surgeons — generally, those with low volume — to stop doing the procedure. Patients of the 27 barred surgeons were more than three times as likely to die during surgery. In technical jargon, the 27 surgeons had an average risk-adjusted mortality rate of 11.9 percent, compared with a statewide average of 3.1 percent. Wisconsin also found that report cards motivate poorly performing hospitals to improve, according to a 2001 study of 24 hospitals there.

In addition to state reporting, Medicare now provides comparative information on its Hospital Compare website (http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html). We’ve included step-by-step information below on how to use that site.

Though almost half the states still do not provide consumers with infection rates by hospital, we at RID encourage them to start. In fact, we are providing a model model bill, in part III. This model improves on what most states have done in at least three ways: First, it specifies the method of risk-adjustment for surgical site infections used by the CDC, rather than leaving the risk-adjustment method to be determined by committee. This should assure hospitals that comparisons will be fair and take into account which hospitals treat especially sick and infection-prone patients.

Secondly, the bill imposes civil penalties on hospitals that fail to report or flagrantly underreport their infections. These penalties are needed. For many years, some hospitals have openly ignored data collection laws with impunity. For example, in one recent year, hospitals in New York reported only 16.5 percent of the post-surgical deaths that the law required them to report. In the first year of Pennsylvania’s hospital infection reporting program, hospitals reported only one tenth as many infections to the new program as they billed. Some Pennsylvania hospitals implausibly claimed they had no infections at all.

Thirdly, the model bill ensures that hospital infection reporting will benefit the public, not enrich trial lawyers. The bill provides that “none of the data collected and reported under this law can be used in litigation against an individual hospital.”

Next time you hear an ad on the radio urging you to use a particular hospital because it has the best doctors or the latest equipment, keep in mind what you’re not being told: how many patients get infections while in that hospital. Americans deserve that information. The legislation proposed here won’t help hospitals save face, but it will help you choose a safe hospital. Let hospitals vie for your business by improving their infection rates.

STATE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Below is a state-by-state look at the information available to you. You can also find links to each state’s health department for additional information.

Please note that even among the  states that don’t require HAI reporting, many participate in the Medicare National Healthcare Safety Network, or NHSN, and data about hospitals in those states can be found by looking online at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.

 

Alabama

Since 2011, hospitals in Alabama have been required to report HAIs to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The information, detailing each hospital’s performance, is reported annually here: www.adph.org/hai. For more information, visit: http://www.adph.org/

Alaska

Beginning in 2013, Alaska hospitals were required to report HAIs to the National Healthcare Safety Network, (NHSN). The information can be found using the Hospital Compare website: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://dhss.alaska.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Arizona 

Arizona hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the subject. However, information on HAIs can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.azdhs.gov/  

Arkansas

Since 2011, Arkansas hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Arkansas Department of Health and NHSN. The statewide statistics can be found online here: http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/healthcare-associated-infections. For individual hospital performance, use Hospital Compare: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/

California

California hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the California Department of Health and NHSN since 2008. The information is available online here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/HAI/Pages/AnnualHAIReports.aspx. The information is also available using NHSN Hospital Compare http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

Colorado

Since 2007, hospitals in Colorado have been required to report HAIs to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. The information, including individual hospital performance statistics, is available here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/health-care-facility-infection-data . For more information, visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/hai-public

Connecticut

Connecticut hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Connecticut Department of Public Health since 2008. Information, including statistics for individual hospitals, can be found here:  https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Infectious-Diseases/HAI/Healthcare-Associated-Infections-and-Antimicrobial-Resistance.

Delaware

Hospitals in Delaware have been required to report HAIs to Delaware Health and Social Services since 2007. The information, including performance statistics for each hospital, is available here: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/epi/dehospinfrpts.html.

Florida

Hospitals in Florida are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the subject. However, some hospitals report this data to NHSN http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/ 

Georgia

Beginning in 2013, Georgia hospitals were required to report HAIs to NHSN, as well as the Georgia Department of Public Health. HAI information is available on NHSN: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: https://dph.georgia.gov/

Hawaii

Hawaii hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Hawaii State Department of Health since 2012. The information, is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/resources/reports/healthcare-associated-infections-hais-reports/. For more information, visit: http://health.hawaii.gov/  

Idaho

Idaho hospitals are not required to report HAIs, but as of March 2014 legislation is pending on the subject. Also, some hospitals report this data to NHSN, and statistics are available at http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/

Illinois

Hospitals in Illinois have been required to report HAI data to NHSN since 2009. The information, which includes each hospital’s statistics, can be found here: http://www.healthcarereportcard.illinois.gov/ and http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.idph.state.il.us/

Indiana

Beginning in 2012, Indiana hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Indiana State Department of Health. The annual report on the subject, which includes each hospital’s performance, can be found here: http://www.in.gov/isdh/25479.htm. For more information, visit: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/

Iowa

Iowa’s hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the issue. However, information on HAIs can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: https://idph.iowa.gov/

Kansas

Hospitals in Kansas are not required to report HAIs, and there is no pending legislation on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. A Kansas health department spokesman advises that “There are no state laws that mandate reporting, but we have developed a robust voluntary surveillance system. Through our work with a statewide, interdisciplinary advisory group for our Healthcare-associated Infections Program at Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), we have established a state reporting group within the National Healthcare Safety Network. … Overall, KDHE has access to data representing 97% of staffed intensive care unit beds in Kansas.” For more information, visit: http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/hai.htm or www.kdheks.gov/

Kentucky

Kentucky hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/

Louisiana

Hospitals in Louisiana are not required to report HAIs, and there is no legislation pending on the issue. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.dhh.louisiana.gov/

Maine

Maine’s hospitals are required to report HAIs to the Maine Quality Forum, a requirement since 2007. The information, including individual hospital performance, is located online at: https://mhdo.maine.gov/mqf.html.  For more information, visit: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/

Maryland

Hospitals in Maryland are required to report HAIs to NSHN, a requirement since 2010. The information can be found here: https://healthcarequality.mhcc.maryland.gov/, or using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: https://health.maryland.gov

Massachusetts

Since 2008, Massachusetts hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state Department of Public Health. HAI data for each hospital is provided here: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/healthcare-quality/health-care-facilities/hospitals/healthcare-assoc-infections/healthcare-associated-infections-reports.html . For more information, visit:https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-public-health 

Michigan

Hospitals in Michigan are not required to report HAIs, and there is no legislation on the subject pending. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs

Minnesota

Some Minnesota hospitals are required to report certain HAIs, including CRE, to the state Department of Health, but there is no statewide reporting requirement. There are no pending legislative proposals on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.health.state.mn.us/

Mississippi

Beginning in 2014, hospitals in Mississippi are required to report HAIs to the state health department, and the information will be available to the public through the NHSN website: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.msdh.state.ms.us/

Missouri

Missouri hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services since 2004. The information can be found here: http://health.mo.gov/data/hai/reports.php. Further information is available using the NHSN Hospital Compare website: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://health.mo.gov/index.php

Montana

Montana’s hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the issue. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.dphhs.mt.gov/

Nebraska

Nebraska hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state Department of Public Health since 2017. The information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: dhhs.ne.gov/

Nevada

Since 2011, hospitals in Nevada are required to report HAIs to NHSN, as well as the Nevada Office of Public Health. The information is released by NHSN, http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: dhhs.nv.gov/

New Hampshire

Since 2009, New Hampshire hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state Department of Health and Human Services. The information is available at NHSN, http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.dhhs.state.nh.us/

New Jersey

New Jersey hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state Department of Health since 2009. The information, including each hospital’s performance, is posted online: http://www.nj.gov/health/healthcarequality/health-care-professionals/submit-reporting/hais/index.shtml. Further information is available using the NHSN Hospital Compare website: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.state.nj.us/health/

New Mexico

Beginning in 2012, hospitals in New Mexico have been required to report HAIs to NHSN. The information, including each hospital’s performance, is available online at https://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/hai/, and http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.

New York

New York hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state Department of Health since 2007. The data, including each hospital’s performance, is reported online: http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/facilities/hospital/hospital_acquired_infections/. For more information, visit: http://www.health.ny.gov/

North Carolina

North Carolina hospitals have been required to report HAIs to NHSN and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services since 2012. The information, including statistics for each hospital, is reported online: http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/hai/figures.html. Information is also available using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/

North Dakota

North Dakota hospitals are not required to report HAIs to the North Dakota Department of Health, and there is no current legislation pending on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.

Ohio

Since 2007, Ohio hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Ohio Department of Health. The information, including each hospital’s performance, is reported online: https://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/bid/hai/haimain.aspx . For more information, visit: www.odh.ohio.gov/

Oklahoma

Beginning in 2008, Oklahoma hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. For more information, visit: https://www.ok.gov/health/Protective_Health/Healthcare_Associated_Infections_Prevention_Program/index.html or https://www.ok.gov/health/. To find a specific hospital’s performance, use http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.

Oregon

Oregon hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Oregon Health Authority since 2009. The information, including each hospital’s statistics, is reported here: https://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/HAI/Pages/index.aspx. For more information, visit: https://public.health.oregon.gov/

Pennsylvania

Hospitals in Pennsylvania have been required to report HAIs to NHSN and the Pennsylvania Department of Health since 2008. The information, including each hospital’s performance, is reported here: http://www.health.pa.gov/facilities/Consumers/Healthcare%20Associated%20Infection%20(HAI)/Pages/HAI-Annual-Reports.aspx, and http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.health.pa.gov/

Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Rhode Island State Department of Health since 2010. The information is available online: http://health.ri.gov/programs/detail.php?pgm_id=137/ , and http://www.health.ri.gov/hospitals/about/quality/.  For more information, visit: http://www.health.ri.gov/

South Carolina

Hospitals in South Carolina have been required to report HAIs to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and NHSN since 2006. For individual hospital performance, visit http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.scdhec.gov/.

South Dakota

South Dakota Hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://doh.sd.gov/.

Tennessee

Hospitals in Tennessee have been required to report HAIs to the NHSN since 2008. Further information can be found here: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/hai.html. The information is also available using Hospital Compare: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html.  For more information, visit: https://www.tn.gov/health.

Texas

Texas hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Department of State Health Services since 2011. Reports and other data can be found at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/infection_control/hai/.

For more information, visit: www.dshs.state.tx.us/

Utah

Utah’s Hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Utah Department of Health and NHSN since 2008. Information, including each hospital’s performance, is reported online at: http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/; and http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: https://health.utah.gov/

Vermont

Hospitals in Vermont must report HAIs to the Vermont Department of Health, a requirement since 2003. The data, including each hospital’s performance, is provided online here: http://www.healthvermont.gov/health-statistics-vital-records/health-care-systems-reporting/hospital-report-cards . For more information, visit: http://healthvermont.gov/.

Virginia

Since 2008, Virginia hospitals must report HAIs to the Virginia Department of Health. The information is available to the public upon request or through the NHSN: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.vdh.state.va.us/

Washington

Washington State hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the Washington State Health Department, using NHSN, since 2007. The information, including individual performance, is available online at: http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/HealthcareAssociatedInfections.aspx, or using NHSN hospital compare http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://www.doh.wa.gov/

West Virginia

Since 2008, West Virginia hospitals have been required to report HAIs to the state’s Health Care Authority. The information, including individual hospital data, is available online at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/HealthcareAssociatedInfections. For more information, visit: http://dhhr.wv.gov/

Wisconsin

Wisconsin hospitals are required to report cases of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, to the Wisconsin Department of Public Health and NHSN, a requirement since 2011. Reporting of other HAIs is voluntary. For performance of individual hospitals, consult Hospital Compare http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/

Wyoming

Wyoming hospitals are not required to report HAIs, and no legislation is pending on the subject. However, many hospitals in the state report HAI data to NHSN, and the information can be found using http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: www.health.wyo.gov/

Washington, D.C.

Since 2007, hospitals in Washington, D.C., have been required to report HAIs to NHSN. The information can be found here: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. For more information, visit: http://doh.dc.gov/

MODEL LEGISLATION

The following outline is intended to help state lawmakers as they draft legislation to provide the public with hospital infection rates: AN ACT to provide the public with information on infection rates at hospitals in the state of _____________.

Section 1. Definitions.

(a) The public health law is amended to add a new section (lawmakers here should include the specific title of the public health or health department law to be amended).

(b) “Hospital” shall mean (lawmakers here should consider whether to include only acute care hospitals or also free-standing outpatient surgical centers).

(c) “Hospital-acquired infection” shall mean, as defined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “any localized or systemic condition resulting from an adverse reaction to the presence of an infectious agent(s) or its toxin(s) that (a) occurs in a patient in a hospital, (b) and was found not to be present or incubating at the time of admission to the hospital, unless (c) the infection was related to a previous admission to the same hospital.”

(d) “Risk adjustment” shall mean a statistical procedure for comparing patient outcomes, taking into account the differences in patient populations, including risk factors such as the number of patients on central line catheters, or the number of patients undergoing specific types of surgery, as a percentage of the overall number of patients treated. For purposes of this bill, risk adjustment shall duplicate the CDC’s NNIS System surgical wound infection risk index or use the number of central-catheter days as a risk-adjustment factor for central line infections.

Section 2.

(a) Using established public health surveillance methods, each hospital shall maintain a program of identifying and tracking the following types of hospital-acquired infections for the purpose of reporting such data semi-annually to the state health department (lawmakers insert the appropriate state department here): central line-associated, laboratory confirmed primary bloodstream infections contracted by intensive care unit patients, and surgical site infections.

(b) The state health department (lawmakers insert the appropriate department name here) shall establish an advisory committee that includes recognized experts in the field of hospital-acquired infection, public reporting of hospital data, and health care quality management to establish data collection and analysis methodologies and risk adjustment procedures.

(c) The state health department (lawmakers insert the appropriate department name here) shall establish a state-wide database of all risk-adjusted, hospitals-pecific infection rates and make it available to the public on a website and in printed materials that can be used by consumers, purchasers of healthcare, and advocacy groups to compare the performance of individual hospitals, and the aggregate performance of hospitals in the state with those in other states and nationwide.

(d) The first year of data submission under this section shall be considered the “pilot phase” of the reporting system. The pilot phase is to ensure the completeness and accuracy of hospital reporting and the fairness and completeness of the state health department’s report to the public. During this pilot phase, hospital identifiers shall be encrypted, the state health department (lawmakers insert proper department name here) shall provide each hospital with an encryption key for that hospital only, and no public hospital comparisons will be available. Sixty days after the end of the second year of data submission, the state health department (appropriate department name here) will provide its first report to the public with hospital-specific infection rates included.

(e) To ensure compliance with this law and the accuracy of self-reporting by the hospitals, the department shall establish an audit process. A civil penalty of $__________ shall be imposed on any hospital that fails to report on time, or is shown to substantially underreport infections, for each semi-annual reporting period.

(f) None of the data collected and reported under this law can be used in litigation against an individual hospital.

USING THE HOSPITAL COMPARE WEBSITE

  1. Go to the hospital compare website http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html
  2. In the “find a hospital” window enter a zip code, city or state or enter the hospital’s name and click SEARCH.
  3. Review the list of hospitals and choose one or several to compare.
  4. If you selected two or more hospitals click “compare now” at top of page; if you only selected one hospital, proceed to the next step.
  1. To LOOK AT HOSPITAL INFECTION DATA, click “Readmissions, complications and deaths” tab and then click on the “Healthcare-associated infections” tab
  2. Click the green box called “show graphs”
  3. If the hospital has results in green, it performs better than the national average. Yellow means the same as the national average, and red means worse than the national average.
  4. You may also obtain more specific details by clicking the “view more details” button
  5. Once you are finished, you may look at other hospitals by clicking “back to results” near the top of the page 

The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization - Contributions are tax-deductible - office@hospitalinfection.org

Phone: 203-485-0093