The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a study on Tuesday that shows the continual and largely solvable issue of hospital acquire infections. Post-operative acquired infections constitute an estimated 100,000 deaths a year according to the report.
Most of these deaths consist of an increased rate of post-operative and bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. The rates have increased in the past year by 8 percent for bloodstream infections and 4 percent for urinary tract infections. The only positive note on the report was a 12 percent reduction in cases of post-operative pneumonia in patients.
These rates could be reduced by the strict adherence to simple standard practices such as frequent hand washing, disinfection of patients, sterile equipment handling and use of antibiotics.
Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has said that the new health care law will implement strong penalties for hospitals with high rates of infections starting in 2015.