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Oregon Hospitals Improve Infection Rate

Oregon’s hospitals are getting better at stopping patients from becoming infected after surgery. 

The state’s Health Care Acquired Infection report shows that central line infections  dropped by 55 percent between 2009 and 2011. A central line is a tube that can be inserted into patients after surgery, for a variety of medical reasons. 

Other infections, like those acquired during knee surgery dropped 20 percent during the same period.  Infections following coronary bypass surgery dropped 10 percent. 

Jeanne Negley helped put the report together for the state.

Negley said, “There is more research to be done with these surgical site infections. We do have some good evidence base to work with but more work needs to be done there.” 

Right now, a hospital’s record on post-surgical infection isn’t tied to financial reimbursement. But under the federal health care overhaul, programs like Medicare will not pay for infections acquired during some operations.

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