RID CALLS ON HOSPITALS TO IMPROVE, NOT RELAX, INFECTION CONTROL STANDARDS
January 7, 2021: The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths urges hospitals struggling through the COVID pandemic not to lower infection control standards. Hospitals across the nation are seeing a surge in patients contracting drug-resistant infections. Also thousands of patients contracting COVID while hospitalized for other conditions.
These data indicate a need for more infection prevention rigor, not less. Yet three major medical societies recently urged the federal Department of Health and Human Services to suspend penalties against hospitals for high rates of nosocomial infections. That’s the wrong approach, and their request should be denied. See https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/01/med-societies-ask-healthcare-infection-penalties-be-suspended
The societies’ letter to HHS argued for a relaxation of “typical care standards,” which are already too lax. Betsy McCaughey, Chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, says “That should make patients and their families shudder.”
Under rules adopted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid in 2009, Medicare adjusts payments to hospitals based on reported hospital infection rates and other preventable conditions such as pressure ulcers. But SHEA, APIC and SIDP object that hospitals are under too much pressure to practice rigorous infection control. The pressure is real, but the solution proposed by these organizations is dangerous to patients. More hospital infections cannot
possibly be an improvement.