In 2006, New Hampshire legislature passed legislation requiring hospitals to report the number of infections patients acquire during medical care. The state has been awarded a federal grant (nearly $760K) to get the program off the ground.
Under the legislation, hospitals are required to report every time patients develop infections in surgical sites, in central lines and in their lungs after the use of a respirator. Hospitals must also report how often they comply with infection-prevention measures: the use of antibiotics before surgery, compliance with best possible procedures for inserting central lines and the rate at which hospital employees receive seasonal flu vaccinations. The legislation also requires the state to publish the numbers to the public.
Hospitals began reporting data earlier this year – reporting infections related to three types of surgery: knee surgeries, cardiac bypass surgeries and colon surgeries.