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Journal Article > Study
Magill SS, Edwards JR, Bamberg W, et al; Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use Prevalence Survey Team. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:1198-1208.
Health care–associated infections (HAIs) are a serious and common cause of patient harm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the National Healthcare Safety Network to provide information on incidence rates of infections, but most hospitals limit reporting to only certain complications. This multistate prevalence study found that approximately 4% of sampled patients had HAIs. Using a model to extrapolate these findings, nearly 650,000 patients in United States hospitals are estimated to have had an HAI in 2011. Infections associated with devices—including central lines, urinary catheters, and ventilators—have been a major focus of strategies to decrease HAIs, but together they accounted for only about a quarter of all HAIs. Clostridium difficile was responsible for more than 12% of infections, highlighting the importance of efforts to mitigate this life-threatening disease. A recent CDC report suggested the potential promise of antibiotic stewardship programs to decrease C. difficile rates.
Journal Article > Study
Weissman JS, Annas CL, Epstein AM, et al. JAMA. 2005;293:1359-1366.
In order to better understand the opinions and experiences of hospital leaders with mandatory state reporting systems, this survey study collected data from a random sampling of chief executive and chief operating officers. Results demonstrated substantial concern about the impact of these systems on internal reporting systems and the potential for encouraging litigation while limiting patient safety efforts. Vignettes illustrating hypothetical errors and the types of errors most and least likely to be reported are included. The authors discuss challenges in balancing the importance of reporting systems with the legal and regulatory factors that likely foster the findings in this study.
Aspden P, Corrigan JM, Wolcott J, Erickson SM, eds for the Committee for Data Standards for Patient Safety, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2004. ISBN: 030909776.
Robust information systems serve as a backbone for both preventing medical error and learning from it. The authors submit that a national information infrastructure will facilitate immediate access to patient information and decision support mechanisms. They also suggest that a byproduct of the infrastructure will be a consistent method for managing patient safety data and the ability to capture it in real time as a result of care.