C. difficile infection rates in Ontario's hospitals decreased by 26.7 per cent between September 2008, when reporting began, and March 2010. The study also found there are 1,970 fewer patients with C. difficile infections per year in Ontario.
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) has found that mandatory public reporting is associated with a significant decrease in the rate of the disease. According to a newly-released ICES report,
All Ontario hospitals and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care publicly post C. difficile infection rates on their websites. Public reporting enables hospitals to monitor C. difficile infection rates to ensure the most appropriate infection control measures and highest possible standards of patient safety can be maintained.
“I believe that transparency drives accountability, and accountability drives change,” Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews said in a press release. “One of the results of greater transparency in our hospitals is better patient safety, as demonstrated by lower C. difficile rates across Ontario. I want to thank everyone working in our health care system for their efforts to achieve better results. We know there is more to do and I'd like to encourage them to keep up this progress."
Ontario's hospital leaders and staff have shown great leadership in using the public reporting of patient safety indicators like C. difficile to drive their quality and patient safety improvement processes, Pat Campbell, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, said.
“We applaud them for their hard work, and for their ongoing commitment to making hospitals even better and safer for patients."
C. difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions and is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients in the industrialized world. Good hand hygiene is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infections like C. difficile.
Posted by Heidi Ulrichsen