the following is from the AJC concerning hospital acquired infections. If you've been to Emory in Decatur you will notice that hand washing is strictly enforced. I recently saw a floor nurse nurse there ask a doctor out in to the hall where she proceeded to admonish him in no uncertain terms for not sanitizing his hands before entering a patients room. At Piedmont Fayette you will not see a policy of hand washing being required or enforced.
State health officials can’t track hospital-related infections
By Carrie Teegardin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
When Dr. Marion Kainer wants to track the life-threatening infections running through Tennessee’s hospitals, she simply taps into her computer at the state health department’s office in Nashville.
Kainer can search to see where bloodstream infections are attacking vulnerable adults and sick babies in ICUs and where heart bypass patients are contracting infections after operations. As she leads Tennessee’s battle against hospital infections, Kainer can identify hospitals that are making strides as well as those still struggling - information her office shares every year with Tennessee residents.
Public health officials in Georgia can’t do what Kainer does, and Georgians don’t have the information Tennesseans do.
State law does not require Georgia hospitals to routinely share information about infection rates with the state’s infectious disease experts. It requires hospitals to notify public health officials when they have an outbreak or identify certain infectious conditions, such as tuberculosis or acute hepatitis. But most of the infections patients pick up inside hospitals do not have to be reported, despite the danger to public health.
About 1 in 20 hospitalized patients will contract an infection while receiving care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state Department of Public Health used a federal grant to create a program to combat infections that patients often get while in hospitals, and officials hope that program will eventually allow statistical tracking. The federal government has begun work on a national tracking program that will eventually provide public data.
But for now, identifying which hospitals and which conditions pose the biggest threat to Georgia patients is largely guesswork.
In Sunday’s newspaper, the AJC takes a deep look at Georgia's efforts to combat Hospital Acquired Infections. It’s a story you’ll get only by picking up a copy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution or logging on to the paper’s iPad app. Subscribe today.