Maryland Hospital Infection Rates at Bottom of National Rankings; State’s Hospitals Launch Initiative to Bring Them Down to Zero

March 2011 / Abell Reports / Health and Human Services

Battling deadly infections in Maryland hospitals, Hopkins’ patient safety expert leads fight to change hospital culture.

Maryland’s rates for hospital-acquired infections are public for the first time, and they are troubling.

Of 17 states that reported data, Maryland ranked worst when the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the first ever comparison of state infection rates in 2010.

Responding to a legislative mandate, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) disclosed hospital-by-hospital rates for the first time in October 2010 as well, comparing each hospital to national benchmarks. Of 45 hospitals included in the MHCC report, only the Johns Hopkins Hospital newborn intensive care unit was better than the national benchmarks by a statistically significant degree. Eight of the 45 hospitals—including three Baltimore hospitals: University of Maryland Medical Center, Sinai Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview—had pediatric and adult rates that were significantly worse than national peers.