Local hospital infection grades up and down

Tift Regional Medical Center. / Jessica Fairley

During the month of May, FOX 31 told reported the scores of your favorite restaurants. We also brought you information about how local daycares are graded and their scores.

Now we're taking a look into the Hospital Associated Infection rates in local hospitals.

Data from a 2011Centers for Disease Control Prevalence Survey shows that close to 1 million people caught infections while in the hospital. 75,000 of those patients died as a result.

There are six hospital associated infections monitored by the CDC. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), Surgical site infections from colon surgery (SSI: Colon), Surgical site infections from abdominal hysterectomy (SSI: Hysterectomy), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Blood Laboratory-identified Events (Bloodstream infections), and Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) Laboratory-identified Events (Intestinal infections).

According to updated information from 2014, Phoebe's scores are not much different than the rest of the nation. However when it comes to catheter associated urinary tract infections, the hospital scores worse than the national average.

"Urinary tract infections can be serious especially if the person had a previous surgery or an artificial joint and we ended up with a bloodstream infection," said Donna Matthew, with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

In the CAUTI category, other area hospitals were on target but when it comes to surgical site infections Tift Regional Medical Center is worse than the national benchmark.

"Anytime there's an infection that is acquired in the hospital, we do investigate one of those to see if there's any way that improvement can be made," said Mary Key, Tift Regional Medical Center Infectious Disease Specialist.

While Tift Regional received poor scores for surgical infections, the hospital has better than average marks for preventing bloodstream infections. Phoebe and Colquitt Regional received good scores in the intestinal infections category.

"The first thing is not to cause harm and we should take this very seriously and we do here at phoebe from the infectious disease community perspective," said Dr. Carlos Franco, Chairman of Infectious Disease Committee for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Franco says all of the infections can be severe and life threatening.

While medical professionals work to prevent these infections, there are some things patients can do to protect themselves or their loved ones.

If you're going into a hospital, wash your hands and pop open a bottle of hand sanitizer to get rid of germs.

Also if you notice that a health care professional hasn't washed their hands, speak up because it just may save your life.

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