Information about surgical infections at Illinois hospitals now online

Dec 16, 2011

For the first time, the Illinois Department of Health is making information about surgical infections in Illinois hospitals available to the public.

The health department has added the information to its Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care website. The new report shows infections following coronary artery bypass graft and total knee replacement surgeries that occurred in Illinois hospitals between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.

The website also provides information about health care-associated infections, nurse staffing, emergency room use and other adult and pediatric quality and safety measures. The cost and number of specific medical conditions and procedures can be compared across facilities. The health department updates the information several times a year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 290,000 surgical site infections occur every year in the U.S., resulting in more than 8,000 deaths. Surgical site infections can cause complications that lead to patients being readmitted to the hospital, increasing costs and the risk of fatalities.