On an average day, about 1 in every 25 hospital patients gets sick from the hospital itself. How? By contracting what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls a healthcare-associated infection (HAI).
When a patient is already sick, one of these infections can be disastrous for their prognosis, and in 2011, 75,000 of the 722,000 patients who developed an HAI died during their hospital stay. To call attention to this problem, Consumer Reports ranked hospitals across the United States based on the frequency of MRSA and C. diff, the two most common and deadly HAIs, along with three other bugs.
They came up with a list of 12 hospitals from coast to coast with the highest rates of infection for all five types of infections they looked at—based on data all hospitals are required to report to the CDC and other agencies—between October 2013 and September 2014. "Getting a low score across all five infection categories is a red flag that the hospital is not focusing proper resources on infection control," Doris Peter, PhD, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center explained in a release.
Florida had the most hospitals on the list, with three: St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg; UF Health Jacksonville, in Jacksonville; and Venice Regional Bayfront Health, in Venice.
Many of the hospitals on the list responded with explanations of why their infection rates were so high during that period, and what they’re doing to fix the problem. Consumer Reports is posting the hospitals' responses on the Safe Patient Project, a website from the magazine intended to make healthcare better for everyone.
The full list of hospitals is below in alphabetical order. Is yours on the list? (Each of the linked report cards are behind a paywall, but you can still view the hospital's response, if there is one, without a subscription).
RELATED: Should You Go to the ER?
Decatur Memorial Hospital, Decatur, Ill.
Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers., Evergreen Park, Ill.
(The hospital's response.)
Mercy St. Anne Hospital, Toledo, Ohio
Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, N.J.
The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington, Conn.
RELATED: The 8 Germiest Places in the Mall