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GAO report calls for better hospital standards

Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2008

The federal government is not doing enough to protect patients from hospital infections, and as a result is endangering tens of thousands of lives and costing billions of dollars, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. Although private groups demand steps such as requiring doctors and nurses to wash their hands, the government has not established sufficient standards for hospitals to follow or prodded hospitals to follow those standards to reduce infections, the GAO added in the report. The GAO report urged the government to prioritize its standards and improve data collection.