New hospital infection rates released

Patients enter a hospital hoping to get better, but sometimes the visit alone makes them sick.

About one in 20 patients gets an infection while seeking medical treatment. Those infections kill an estimated 100,000 people a year and add $30 billion in annual health care costs.

To push hospitals to do a better job of protecting their patients from infections, federal regulators recently started publishing infection rates for hospitals across the country. They believe the public reports alone can help save lives.

"Health care-associated infections are a huge problem, and they are largely preventable," said Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which has set national goals for dramatically reducing these infections. "It's very motivating to the hospital and to doctors to have numbers publicly reported. And of course, the public has a right to know."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution began publishing the new federal data on infections at metro Atlanta hospitals last spring. Federal officials recently updated the hospital-specific information and the AJC has updated its database too.

To see the latest information, CLICK HERE:

THE ORIGINAL STORY:  Georgia ranks near bottom on hospital infections