Consumer Reports releases new hospital C. diff prevention ratings: 2 highest & 19 lowest performing teaching hospitals

Consumer Reports released new ratings on U.S. hospitals' efforts to prevent Clostridium difficile. It found that around one-third of the more than 3,100 hospitals evaluated received a low rating for C. diff infection control — meaning their C. diff infection rates were worse than the national benchmark.

The Consumer Reports ratings are based on data hospitals reported to the CDC between October 2014 and September 2015. The data is released periodically over the year. Consumer Reports also released C. diff infection control ratings in March.

Large teaching hospitals (those with more than 500 beds) in particular seem to have a problem controlling C. diff rates. In the current analysis, only two large teachings hospitals earned one of the top two scores in C. diff prevention. They are:

1. Maimonedes Medical Center (New York City)
2. Mount Sinai Medical Center (Miami Beach, Fla.)

Maimonedes Medical Center had also received a top score when Consumer Reports looked at the measure in March.

Meanwhile, 19 large teaching hospitals received Consumer Reports' lowest or second-lowest rating in preventing C. diff. In alphabetical order, they are:

1. Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center (Milwaukee)
2. Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas)
3. Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)
4. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles)
5. Cleveland Clinic
6. Greenville (S.C.) Memorial Hospital
7. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
8. Indiana University Health University Hospital (Indianapolis)
9. Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, Va.)
10. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
11. Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City)
12. Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center
13. University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital (Lexington)
14. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor)
15. University of North Carolina Hospitals (Chapel Hill)
16. UF Health Shands Hospital (Gainesville, Fla.)
17. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (Pittsburgh)
18. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
19. Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital

All except University of North Carolina Hospitals, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Greenville Memorial Hospital and University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, received low scores in the Consumer Reports ratings released in March.

Officials from some of the low-scoring teaching hospitals say that their facilities face particular challenges when it comes to C. diff infection prevention. They argued, both in March and now, that teaching hospitals typically see patients who are sicker, as compared to non-teaching hospitals. Also, it is possible that higher C. diff rates at teaching hospitals indicate that they are more comprehensive in their reporting efforts.

However, since March, a number of hospitals have improved protocols surrounding C. diff prevention. For example, Baylor has started using a daily disinfectant that has been EPA-approved to combat C. diff.

For more information on how Consumer Reports rates hospitals, click here.
For the complete list of Consumer Reports' hospital ratings, click here.

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