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California Public Health Officials Release New Report On Hospital Safety

Aired 8/10/12 on KPBS News.

A new report provides detailed information on infection rates in California hospitals.

— The state Department of Public Health has issued a new report on infections in California hospitals. Consumers can use it to find out whether their local hospital is safe.

The report includes hospital-by-hospital breakdowns of drug-resistant staph infections, infections caused by intravenous lines, and surgical site infections. Each infection rate is graded either below, above, or at the statewide average.

There's also an interactive map of all hospitals in the state.

California is one of 30 states that require hospitals to report infection rates.

Lisa McGiffert directs Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project. She concedes patients don't always have a choice about which hospital they go to.

"But they can certainly go to their surgeon or their doctor and say, I have some concerns about this hospital that has a high infection rate," she said. "And what are you going to do to make sure I don't get an infection?"

Hospital-acquired infections are preventable. McGiffert said the goal for all hospitals should be zero infections.

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