Top 10 infection control stories of 2015

From hospitals facing Medicare penalties for readmissions to a Taylor Swift parody music video encouraging proper hand hygiene, a variety of topics piqued the interest of infection control and clinical quality readers this past year.

Below are the 10 most popular infection control and clinical quality stories published by Becker's Hospital Review in 2015.

1. The 38 hospitals facing highest Medicare penalties for readmissions

As part of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, CMS penalizes hospitals with excess 30-day readmissions by docking their pay for all Medicare patients. In the fourth year of the program, 38 hospitals saw their Medicare payments cut the maximum of 3 percent.

2. A CNN investigation, a closed heart surgery program, a resigned CEO: What happened at St. Mary's Medical Center?

In August, St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., became the center of a significant storm involving the national media, its executive leadership and patient safety.

3. 10 most common patient complaints, grievances with hospitals

Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and senior vice president for patient safety at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, worked with Jan Hill, Johns Hopkins' patient relations director, to compile a "patient wish list."

4. 52 hospitals with the cleanest patient rooms, as reported by patients

Using data from Hospital Compare, this list shows the 52 hospitals for which 89 percent or more of patients reported that their room and bathroom were "always" clean on their HCAHPS survey.

5. The most MRSA-contaminated surfaces in a hospital room: Infographic

Over-bed tables, bed rails, bed linens and patient gowns tend to be the surfaces in a hospital room most contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to EOS Surfaces.

6. 2,500 hospitals penalized by CMS for high readmissions: 10 things to know

In the fourth year of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, 2,592 hospitals face penalties to their Medicare reimbursements for a high number of 30-day readmissions.

7. Consumer Reports rates hospitals on infections: 9 highest, 12 lowest performing hospitals

Consumer Reports expanded its hospital ratings data this year to include information on Clostridium difficile and MRSA infections and found some hospitals significantly outperform their peers when it comes to preventing such healthcare-associated infections.

8. CMS inspection leads Grady Memorial to temporarily shut down its ORs

Chickasha, Okla.-based Grady Memorial Hospital temporarily closed its operating rooms in August after CMS inspected the facility and found increased humidity in one of the hospital's air conditioning units.

9. BIDMC staff channel Taylor Swift for video on hand hygiene, fighting the flu

Staff from Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center created a parody of Taylor Swift's hit song "Shake it Off" to urge healthcare personnel and others to wash their hands this flu season.

10. UPMC probes link between mold, patient deaths: 7 things to know

In September, UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh shut down its cardiothoracic intensive care unit after a patient developed a fungal infection and investigators found mold in the area.

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