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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Levy issues challenge on infection rates

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CEO Paul Levy says better infection control practices likely saved one life at his hospital in January, and on his blog today he challenged other hospitals and health insurers to share their numbers too.

Levy posted his hospital's monthly rate of central line infections going back to October 2005, a theme first visited in December. A central line is the opening through which a tube delivers medications directly into a patient's bloodstream. An infection can travel this route quickly, causing organ failure.

He urged others to go public with their rates, and the state to make public rates too, arguing that disclosure leads to better results.

"If I can post these rates for BIDMC, why can't people from other hospitals? Cleve, Charlie, and Jim: Why can't the insurance companies (Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, and Tufts) post them? Governor Patrick and Secretary Bigby: Why can't the state of Massachusetts?"

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:02 AM
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