The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released new report online on hospital acquired infection rates in the State. The first report, available on the (SC DHEC’s Web site) documents all hospital acquired infections and compares them with similar hospitals nationwide. Comparisons cannot be made among hospitals within South Carolina regarding the number of infections for a procedure because hospitals are measured by different variables.
The number of infections a hospital reports for a procedure can be compared to the national average. The hospital is given a rating of “not different,” “lower” or “higher” than the national average for similar hospitals.
In 2006, the S.C. General Assembly passed the Hospital Infections Disclosure Act, a law requiring hospitals to provide DHEC and the public with information about their acquired infection rates. The information must be submitted twice a year.
Since July 2007, hospitals were required to report some of their acquired infections related to certain procedures. Since then, other procedures have been phased in resulting in an annual report that spans from July 2007 through Nov. 30, 2008.