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Low Infection Rates at Eisenhower

Eisenhower Recognized with Top Safety Rating

Eisenhower Medical Center has been rated among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation for patient safety by HealthGrades®, a leading independent organization that provides ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. Eisenhower received the 2009 Patient Safety Excellence Award™ the award based in part on the extremely low rates of infection in the hospital.

The HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award is based on 20 indicators developed by the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Among the principal measures is the rate of infections associated with hospital stays. Eisenhower is the only hospital in the Coachella Valley, and one of only 11 hospitals in California to receive the Patient Safety Award this year.

Eisenhower’s was also noted for a low rate of Overall Health Care Associated Infections, as well as low rates for a number of specific types of patient infections. Health care associated infections are defined by the National Healthcare Safety Network — a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — as infections which occur more than 48 hours after admission to the hospital, or readmission after thirty days, and/or after one year for implants. For overall infections, Eisenhower had a rate of fewer than two infections per 1,000 patient days, a rate of less than .2 percent, significantly lower than the national average of five to 10 percent reported by the CDC.

In addition to the low overall rate of infections, HealthGrades cited Eisenhower’s exemplary safety record and low rates of infection for a number of specific procedures. In the area of hip and knee replacement surgery, Eisenhower reported only four infections in all of 2008.With more than 700 surgeries conducted, Eisenhower’s infection rate was less than one half of one percent, also well below the CDC’s benchmark average of 1.35 per 100 hip and knee surgeries.

Eisenhower also reported low rates of infection associated with the surgical sites for spinal surgeries and for open-heart surgeries. For spinal surgeries, Eisenhower had only one in infection in 480 surgeries — approximately .2 percent — which is less than one-tenth of the CDC benchmark of 2.7 percent.

To determine the Patient Safety Excellence Awards, HealthGrades evaluates data from all hospitals in the United States. As part of the study, the research team identified the best-performing hospitals in the country so that they could establish a “best practices” benchmark against which other hospitals could be evaluated. Eisenhower is one of only 242 hospitals in the country selected for the Patient Safety Award, and one of only 11 in California.

HealthGrades concluded that if all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety during the period studied (2005 to 2007) approximately 211,697 patient safety incidents and 22,771 Medicare deaths could have been avoided, saving the United States health care system more than $2 billion


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