Health Department: Three CNY hospitals ranked higher than state average for hysterectomy related infections

The cost of hospital acquired infections in the past five years is somewhere between $40 million and $163 million in New York, according to the state health department.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The cost of hospital acquired infections in the past five years is somewhere between $40 million and $163 million in New York, according to the state health department.

From 2008 to 2012, an estimated 5,605 patients suffered from hospital acquired infections that are tracked by the NYS Department of Health.

According to last year's data, the latest available, three Central New York Hospitals ranked significantly higher than the state average for hysterectomy related infections.

Taking into account a patient's susceptibility to infections, the type of procedure performed, and other factors, the adjusted state average came in at 1.6 infections per 100 hysterectomy procedures.

At St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, the rate was 7.3.

At Oneida Healthcare and Oswego Hospital, the rate jumps to 9.1.

"We identified the problems last year and took immediate measures to correct the situation. There are no such infections to date this year. So, our changes have worked," said Mike Healy, the Director of Community Relations for Oneida Healthcare.

Oswego Hospital implemented their own changes, trying to improve rates this year.

"Oswego Health takes seriously its infection rates, with the goal always being zero infections. In 2013, Oswego Hospital implemented several programs that resulted in the hospital achieving this goal of zero infections for abdominal hysterectomy surgical site infections. Oswego Hospital does surveillance on all surgical cases for 30 days after the date of a procedure, monitoring a patient’s care from pre-admission testing to discharge instruction and follow up. The hospital specifically looks for risk factors of infection," wrote Marion Ciciarelli, the Public Relations Manager for Oswego Health.

In a statement shared with Newschannel 9, Ciciarelli said Oswego Hospital staff took steps to improve abdominal hysterectomy surgical site infections including:
  • Increased education at pre-admission testing for diabetic patients.
  • Improved discharge planning for those with diabetes and other conditions that may need more help at home with their recovery.
  • Encouraged patients to be an active member of their own healthcare team and the important of preventative care at home.
As a result of last year's rates, St. Joseph's Hospital also reviewed procedures, leading to improvements for 2013.

A statement from the hospital explains the changes, "We reviewed the four cases and found they were performed as open procedures, which are more likely to lead to infection. As a result, we now perform nearly all our hysterectomies laparoscopicly, a minimally invasive approach which results in an almost zero infection rate. In 2013, we have had just two infections as a result of a hysterectomy procedure. We are committed to continual improvement not only in women’s services but all our services to achieve the highest outcomes for our patients."

Public reporting of hospital acquired infections began in 2007.

The state collects data on several specific procedures from 175 hospitals.

Across the state in 2008, the number of infections observed totaled 1,557.

The latest report from 2012 showed 735 infections were reported.

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