by MDN Staff

More types of infections would have to be reported to hospitals and included in the information posted on the Health Department’s website under a measure given final approval by the Senate Tuesday, April 26.

The bill’s sponsor – Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph – said making the infection rate information public would put pressure on hospitals to be more aggressive in reducing infections.

“If the infection rates are on the Internet for people to see, each hospital will try to get it’s rate down so that it looks better and is more attractive to the people that go to the hospital,” said Schaaf, one of the Senate’s two physicians.

In addition, the measure also would require hospitals to adopt policies on the use of antibiotics with emphasis on antibiotics used to treat antibiotic-resistant infections.

“A lot of the superbugs that we’re having to deal with now are the result of people being given antibiotics inappropriately. So [this] would require an antibiotic stewardship to ensure that everybody is using those antibiotics appropriately,” Schaaf said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control reported in March that in 2011, 75,000 people had died from infections at hospitals across the country and that one out of every 25 hospital patients had gotten an infection while hospitalized.

Other CDC information cites a current annual death rate at 99,000.

In Missouri, Schaaf said the hospital infection has declined in recent years after the state adopted the first infection requirements in 2004.