In a federal report released by Kaiser Health News, 721 hospitals will have their Medicare reimbursements reduced because of a high rate of avoidable injuries acquired in their hospital. Such injuries include infections you can get with a central IV line, a Foley catheter, or other severe complications including blood clots, pressure ulcers, and falls.
Indiana had fourteen hospitals on the list. Three of those were in Lake County:Franciscan Saint Anthony’s in Crown Point, Franciscan Healthcare in Munster, and Methodist Hospitals in Gary. There were four hospitals in Indianapolis: Eskanazi Hospital, IU Health Methodist, Community Heart and Vascular Hospital, and Community Hospital North.
You can find the complete list of all 721 hospitals here.
Infections and other complications can occur even while practicing the strictest forms of infection control and safety. This is a wake up call though to these hospitals, and I am sure they have all taken corrective actions because after all, it is now affecting their bottom line with decreased reimbursements.
If you have a loved one in the hospital, ask questions:
- Is this IV a central line? If it is, how often do the dressings get changed?
- How often is your loved one cleaned? Patients who are incontinent of bowel who also have a Foley catheter are at extremely high risk of getting a urinary tract infection.
- If your loved one is not able to get out of bed or turn them self, how often are they being re-positioned by staff? Should be at least every two hours to prevent pressure ulcers.
- If your loved one has dementia or is elderly and gets confused at night (referred to as Sundowner’s Syndrome) what safety precautions does the hospital take to make sure they do not fall if they try to get out of bed unassisted?
- If your loved one has had major surgery or is not ambulatory, does the hospital give them an injection to prevent blood clots?
These are a few ways you can be pro-active to help make sure a hospital stay doesn’t make you or a loved one sicker!