Infections that patients acquire while they are being treated in hospitals and other health care facilities are a major public health problem in the United States. These "Healthcare Associated Infections" or HAIs can be very serious. They can increase both the cost and length of your hospital stay. HAIs may even result in death. Click here for more information about HAIs.
This Web site is meant to help you:
Understand more about HAIs.
Learn about hospital infection rates in South Carolina.
Learn what you, as a patient, can do to lower your risk for an HAI.
In 2006, the S.C. General Assembly passed the Hospital Infections Disclosure Act. The Act requires hospitals to report certain HAI data to DHEC on a regular basis. The reports are being phased in. For now, hospitals must report central line-associated bloodstream (CLAB) infections and surgical site infections (SSIs) for a number of surgical procedures. Hospitals also have to report some of their infection control processes. In the future, additional reporting categories will be added. Of course, HAIs occur in health care facilities other than hospitals. But this law applies only to hospitals.
Preliminary Hospital Associated Infections Report: February 1, 2008
DHEC notified South Carolina hospitals to begin submitting data on July 1, 2007.* The law requires hospitals to submit the reports to DHEC and make them available to the public at each hospital by February 1, 2008. DHEC is also required to make the reports available to the public by this date.
Keep in mind, these first reports are preliminary. Do not use the reports to compare hospitals. They include only five months of data, taken from July 1, 2007, through November 30, 2007. Many of the reports contain too few procedures to offer a complete picture of infection rates at each hospital. And DHEC has not had time to check the accuracy of each report. Until DHEC does this, please be careful how you use the information.
Also, keep in mind that some patients have conditions that make them more likely to get infections. A patient's age, underlying diseases, and level of illness all affect their risk for infection. Hospitals that treat patients who have greater risk of infection would be expected to have higher rates.
Remember, no single source of information can be used to determine overall quality of care in a hospital. A hospital's experience with HAIs is only one thing to consider when choosing a facility. You should also consider the advice of your physician and the experience of the facilities and surgeons. Any factors that are unique to you should be considered as well.
Please review the definition of terms to help you understand the HAI data reports. Once you're familiar with the terms, go to the Hospital Associated Infections Reports. Hospitals are grouped by general bed size and listed alphabetically. You can see each hospital's report by clicking on the name of the hospital.