How Chicago ranks on infections in hospitals | WBEZ
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How Chicago ranks on infections acquired in hospitals

Some of Chicago’s biggest hospitals get low ratings when it comes to protecting patients from infections. That’s according to a new analysis from Consumer Reports.

The report says Northwestern Memorial, Presence Resurrection and University of Chicago Medical Center all performed worse than the national baseline when it came to hospital-acquired infections. These infections kill roughly 75,000 Americans a year.

Rankings were based on data from 3,000 hospitals. The hospitals reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2013 and 2014. They included rates for Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), C.diff (clostridium difficile), central line infections, surgical site infections and catheter infections.

A spokesperson for Univeristy Chicago Medicine responded to the report saying that "one rating system should not be the only piece of information used to make decisions about where and how to get care."  The representative further wrote, "Based on Medicare’s scores of hospital-acquired infections and injuries, we were judged to be the safest academic medical center in the Chicago area and safer than the majority of academic medical centers in the country."

Doris Peter directs the Consumer Reports health rating center. She said that Chicago didn’t do much worse than other big city hospitals, and, in fact, had at least one bright spot. It was Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, which was given a high rating overall and specifically high ratings for avoiding central line and MRSA infections.

“It’s a call to hospitals to pay attention to the data and implement procedures including reducing antibiotic prescribing in the hospital,” Peter said. “But there are lots of other hospital quality measures to think about including mortality and readmission, which we also factor in our overall ratings.” 

The analysis was the second piece in a three-part investigative series the magazine is doing on antibiotic resistance. 

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