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California Department of Public Health to post hospital infection rates online by 2011

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The state of California joins at least 14 other states that mandate reporting of hospital-acquired infections. Beginning in January 2009, the state agency that regulates health care facilities will oversee hospital efforts to improve and ensure more effective infection control practices and require reporting of deadly infections contracted during hospital stays (The Press Enterprise).

One bill signed recently by Gov. Schwarzenegger requires hospital infection rates, including that for the severe antibiotic-resistant staph infection methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, to be posted on the California Department of Public Health Web site starting in 2011.

Besides MRSA, hospitals will report rates of certain bloodstream and surgical site infections. The law also requires monitoring of clostridium difficile, an intestinal bacteria that has increasingly become more resistant and difficult to control, especially in older patients.

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