A new study published today in PLoS Medicine re-evaluates the role of public reporting of hospital-acquired infection data.
The study, conducted by Nick Daneman and colleagues, used data from all 180 acute care hospitals in Ontario, Canada. The investigators compared the rates of infection of Clostridium difficile colitis prior to, and after, the introduction of public reporting of hospital performance; public reporting was associated with a 26% reduction in C. difficile cases.
The authors comment "This longitudinal population-based cohort study has confirmed an immense burden of Clostridium difficile infection in Ontario, while heralding mandatory hospital reporting as one potential means to reduce this burden".
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Daneman N, Stukel TA, Ma X, Vermeulen M, Guttmann A (2012) Reduction in Clostridium difficile Infection Rates after Mandatory Hospital Public Reporting: Findings from a Longitudinal Cohort Study in Canada. PLoS Med 9(7): e1001268. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001268