Have you ever wondered what unseen germs may be lurking within your nearby medical center?
Well, for the last several years, the Oregon Health Authority has been reporting statistics on various hospital-acquired infections for all of the state's hospitals. Before you get too paranoid, it turns out they are doing a pretty good job on that front.
The recently released 2016 annual report on health care-associated infections shows that overall Oregon hospitals were statistically better than the 2006-08 national baseline and met the 2013 Health & Human Services target on nine out of 13 types of infections tracked.
To figure out which hospitals had the least incidence of infection, we examined 2016 facility-specific data for five types of hospital-acquired infections: surgical site infections, Methicillin-resistant Staph infections, catheter-related urinary-tract infections, Closteridium Dificile (digestive) infections and central line bloodstream infections.
Then we reduced the list of 61 hospitals down to 25 larger facilities that had a significant enough number of procedures or patient days to be measured in all five infection categories — the minimum was in the thousands of annual patient days for three, 300 for surgical procedures and 600 for central line days.
Among these 25 larger hospitals, we divided the number of observed infections in 2016 by annual procedures, patient days, catheter days or central line days in thousands to determine the rate of infection per 1,000 shown in the slides.
To rank the hospitals, we equally weighted the five infection rates per 1,000 to calculate an average overall rate.
This week, health care reporter Elizabeth Hayes followed up with the No. 1 "least-infected" hospital to find out what they are doing right.
See below to find out which among the 25 hospitals we tracked most reduced their overall infection rates between 2014 and 2016.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News Partner.