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New Mexico project to track hospital infection rates, develop public reporting process

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Health officials in New Mexico plan a pilot study to gather data about infection rates and develop a public reporting process, reports AHIP Hi-Wire. Results from the year long program will remain confidential until hospitals have confidence that the public reporting process is accurate.

Three Albuquerque hospitals have volunteered to participate in the study, which will track the rates of bloodstream infections from intravenous central lines. Data collection will begin in June.

The hospitals are University of New Mexico Hospital, the Heart Hospital of New Mexico and Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

Hospital-acquired infections became a focus of national concern in October when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 19,000 Americans died in 2005 from a drug-resistant infection called MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

In November, a New Mexico legislative task force called for a pilot project to devise a meaningful public reporting process that tracks infections including MRSA.

Currently South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Vermont publicize infection rates online.

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