Bloodstream infections that start because of a “central line” in a person’s body are among the most serious of all healthcare-associated infections- causing thousands of deaths each year and about $700M in added costs.  The CDC estimates that there were about 41,000 infections like these U.S. hospitals last year…  and 25% percent of patients who get a central line associated bloodstream infection will die from it.  Each patient with an infection like this costs about $17K extra to boot. 

As is the case with everything in public health, measuring and reporting rates of central line associated bloodstream infections (called CLABSIs) is a key ingredient in developing effective interventions to reduce these deadly and expensive (and often preventable) infections.  To that end, this week Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services added data about how often these preventable infections occur in hospital intensive care units across the country to their Hospital Compare website.  Providing data that will help hospitals and the public health system to bring down these rates, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars each year.  

The data on the website comes from data reported from hospital ICUs to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).  In many places, this is the first time consumers can see how well their local hospitals prevent CLABSIs, one of the most deadly healthcare-associated infections.  You can also read more and join the conversation at

Hospital Compare also provides a host of additional indicators about the quality of care provided in over 4,700 of America’s acute-care, critical access and children’s hospitals.  The website features free, easy-to-use information about these hospitals, including mortality and readmission rates for each, along with 10 measures that capture patient experience with hospital care, 17 measures that assess patient safety at each hospital, 25 process-of-care measures and three children’s asthma care measures.