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SENATE APPROVES REPORTING OF ACQUIRED INFECTIONS IN TEXAS HOSPITALS
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate today approved SB 288 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, requiring hospitals and other health care facilities to report what is known as "acquired infections," which occurs when a patient acquires a new infection while seeking treatment.
"Obviously, there are going to be sick people -- and their germs -- in our hospitals and other facilities where people go for medical attention. Our hospitals should be taking steps to minimize a patients' exposure to those elements," Senator Nelson said. "This bill allows the public to see for themselves which hospitals are doing the best job of protecting patients."
According to Centers for Disease Control, each year associated infections strike more than 2 million patients, result in nearly 90,000 deaths and cost nearly $5 billion excess health costs. Last session the Legislature empanelled a group of experts to study and make recommendations on a reporting framework to track these infections (SB 872 79R). Those recommendations are reflected in SB 288, which:
- Creates the Texas Health Care Associated Infection Reporting System;
- Requires certain health care facilities, at least quarterly, to submit patient-level infection data to the Department of State Health Services, and aggregate infection rates to be disclosed annually to the general public;
- Retains confidentiality standards for reporting information and patient information;
- Requires the DSHS to conduct training; and
- Authorizes the development of a permanent Health Care Associated Infections Panel to guide the implementation, development and evaluation of the public reporting system.
Nelson represents District 12, which includes several communities in Tarrant
and Denton counties.