MIAMI — Hoping to erase a troubling legacy of preventable infections and deaths, most U.S. hospitals on January 1 will begin reporting the number of patients who contract bloodstream infections following their treatment in intensive-care units, according to the Miami Herald.
The information about infections involving catheters will be made public on a government website later in 2011, giving consumers a fast, easy way to see which hospitals best protect patients from one of the most lethal, yet avoidable medical conditions, the article stated.
Nearly 250,000 bloodstream infections occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to catheters, and they contribute to roughly 31,000 patient deaths annually, the article noted.
According to the article, the new reporting requirement for the infections is technically voluntary, but if any of the nation''s 4,300 acute-care hospitals don''t comply, they would lose two percent of their Medicare funding beginning in fiscal year 2013.
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