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Web Site to Track Hospital Infection Rates

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – Missouri patients can now go on-line to find out their risk of picking up an infection when getting treated at the hospital. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The Missouri Health Department Web site is now reporting on local hospitals and how often patients at their facilities contract infections from the care they receive.

Eddie Hedrick, a state health department epidemiologist, says national data shows one in 20 patients will get an infection from hospital care, while 90,000 people a year die from these infections. In 2004 Missouri law required hospitals to publicly report infection information and since then Hedrick says hospitals have made improvements.

Eddie Hedrick: "We have seen hospitals in the state spending more money on resources to help prevent infections. And when people are looking often people get better at what they're doing."

Hedrick says the Department of Health and Senior Services Web site will be updated to report data on different types of infections like those from specific surgeries or pneumonia caused from ventilators. Now people can check on infections often ICU or cancer patients can get from central lines used to give antibiotics or chemotherapy.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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