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Study Finds Hospital Claims Data Inadequate for Infection Rates Tracking

A new analysis finds that hospital claims data may be inadequate in tracking surgical site infections compared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) database, underscoring its importance for evaluating hospital quality. In the study, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, researchers compared NHSN data to claims data for infections following colon surgery. They found wide discrepancies between the two data sources, especially among hospitals in the South and those that care for relatively more Medicaid patients. Researchers concluded that a single, agreed-upon national set of definitions and data is of greater importance for public reporting and value-based payment programs.

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