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Study: Hospital surgical infection measures do not predict outcomes

Wall Street Journal Health Blog, June 23, 2010

In recent years there has been an emphasis on making surgery less risky by using efforts such as a checklist approach and those targeted at reducing the incidence of post-surgical infections. Data showing how a hospital performs on certain measures in that latter arena are publicly available. But a study says the publicly reported measures do not actually correlate with post-operation infection rates. As a result, picking a hospital on the basis of how often it administers antibiotics within an hour before surgery is not going to help avoid an infection, the study found.