Hospital Infection Reporting Standards Inconsistent
Recently, the CDC Prevention Epicenter researchers wrote, "poor sensitivity of surveillance, conducted by infection preventionists was found during a retrospective review of a sample of blood cultures with potential central line-associated BSI in six Australian hospitals using a CDC-adapted surveillance system with the same criteria used in the present study."
In conclusion, the CDC authors wrote that "inconsistent surveillance practice can have a significant effect on the relative ranking of hospitals, which threatens the validity of the metric used by both funding agencies and the public to compare hospitals." Because these rates are now in public report cards and are included with financial incentives that reduce rates paid by private insurers and federal payers, "we should seek and test surveillance measures that are as reliable and objective as possible," they wrote.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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