Hospital patients who get infections likely to return

    A new report suggests Pennsylvanians who contract infections while in the hospital are much more likely to be hospitalized again.

    A study of nearly 2 million people, released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, found about 6 percent of patients who did not catch an infection while hospitalized in 2009 were readmitted within 30 days.

    But the council’s Stephanie Suran said readmission rates for those who caught something are much greater.

    “We found that of the patients who acquired an infection in the hospital, nearly a third were readmitted within 30 days for an infection or a complication,” she said.

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    Suran said the length of stay and mortality rate were also higher for those who got infections in the hospital.

    Roger Baumgarten with the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania says medical professionals welcome this kind of data.

    “It contains much more detail than the old reports did and that gives hospitals much more information to work with as they’re improving their processes to reduce and eliminate infections,” he said.

    Baumgarten said the study is unique in that it makes comparisons on the levels of diagnosis, condition and procedure, allowing medical personnel to more easily determine what’s likely leading to infection.

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