Norwegian American Hospital Ranked Best in Chicago For Reduced Hospital Acquired Infection Rates

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CHICAGO – Norwegian American Hospital ranks number one in Chicago, and fifth best among Illinois’ best performers for reduced hospital-acquired infection rates according to recently released preliminary federal data. This new data comes as hospitals prepare to be penalized annually by Medicare if improved patient care and lower infection rates are not met. The effort was implemented as a part of the 2010 federal health law.

“At Norwegian American Hospital improving quality is our first priority. It starts with our leadership – the board of trustees and the executive team,” said José R. Sánchez, president and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital. “The executive team made quality their number one focus. We have a benchmark of zero for reducing hospital-acquired infections so every member of the team is responsible. We make sure it remains on the forefront of our agenda.”

“By instituting simple safety checklists for hospital procedures, and by insisting on a team approach that includes everyone from housekeeping to nurses to physicians – patient quality has improved and hospital infection rates have significantly dropped,” said Abha Agrawal, M.D., Chief Operating Officer/Vice President of Medical Affairs.

Starting in October, Medicare will penalize hospitals that have the highest rates of infections and patient injuries. In Illinois, about 21 percent of the hospitals scored by Medicare would face penalties based on this preliminary data. Measures include:

  • The frequency of bloodstream infections in patients with catheters inserted into a major vein to deliver antibiotics, nutrients, chemotherapy or other treatments.
  • The rates of infections from catheters inserted into the bladder to drain urine.
  • A variety of avoidable safety problems in patients including bedsores, hip fractures, blood clots and accidental lung punctures.
  • Over the next few years, Medicare will also factor in surgical site infections and infection rates from two germs that are resistant to antibiotic treatments: Clostridium difficile, known as C. diff, and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

For Norwegian American Hospital’s infection rating click here: https://graphics.chicagotribune.com/business/hospital-infections/

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