A new report, Health Care-Associated Infections, compares hospitals across the country in their efforts to reduce or eliminate two important types of infections. The report shows that while infection rates are falling as hospitals work to achieve zero occurrences, only 25 percent of hospitals meet that goal today.

Health care-associated infections are a significant problem. Every day, one out of 25 patients in U.S hospitals contracts a health care-associated infection according to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine (2014).

These infections may result in longer hospital stays, discomfort for patients and even death. And they are costly. Taken together, health care-associated infections add nearly $10 billion annually to our nation’s health care bill.

The Leapfrog Group, an employer and consumer-led organization whose aim is to improve the safety and quality of America’s health care system, produced the new report in partnership with Castlight, a health benefit technology and transparency vendor.

The report looks at two types of health care-associated infections. The first is central line-associated blood stream infections (or CLABSIs), a dangerous infection which increases the chances a patient will die. The second is catheter-associated urinary tract infections (or CAUTIs), one of the most common types of health care-associated infections.

The Alliance has been a member of and regional leader for The Leapfrog Group since 2002. Through Leapfrog, hospitals nationwide are asked to publicly report their progress toward meeting important advances, or “leaps” to make health care safer for patients.

The Leapfrog Group

Leapfrog is important to employers and consumers because it is one the few sources of consistent, publicly reported information that employers can share with their employees regardless of where they live. But Leapfrog is a voluntary initiative and not all hospitals participate.

Across The Alliance service area, participation by state varies greatly, with hospitals in Illinois leading the way:

State

% Publicly Reporting

# hospitals publicly reporting to Leapfrog

# hospitals

Illinois

50.9%

85

167

Iowa

11.3%

6

53

Wisconsin

8.7%

11

127

Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder will be one of three thought-provoking speakers at our Annual Seminar, Aiming for Impact, on May 12 at Monona Terrace. I hope you’ll mark your calendars and join us for an event that will help everyone think differently about the patient experience.

Learn more and register.

Cheryl DeMars

Cheryl DeMars

President & CEO at The Alliance
Cheryl DeMars joined The Alliance in 1992, assuming several roles before becoming CEO in December 2006. Cheryl works with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to establish the strategic direction of the cooperative.

Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She is a board member and former chair of the National Business Coalition on Health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read blog posts by Cheryl.
Cheryl DeMars

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