We go to hospitals for relief from chronic illnesses, treatment of accidental
injuries, corrective surgeries, and more. While hospitals are equated
with healing, hospitalization can actually result in serous complications
unrelated to the problem that caused admission in the first place. Common
adverse events include medication errors, deep vein thrombosis, unnecessary
procedures, anesthesia complications, and, the biggest risk of all, hospital-acquired
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on
any given day, approximately one in 25 hospital patients has at least
one HAI. Describing the burden of HAIs on the healthcare system,
the Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey
reported that there were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health
care–associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011.
Additionally, more than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive
care unit and about 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.
HAIs can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses, as well as other less
common types of pathogens. Certain medical devices and procedures carry
a higher risk of infection, and certain patient populations have a higher
risk of becoming infected.
South Florida Hospitals with Major Hospital-Acquired Infection Failures
- Baptist Hospital of Miami
- Broward Health Coral Springs
- Good Samaritan Medical Center
- Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center
- Homestead Hospital
- Jackson Memorial Hospital
- JFK Medical Center
- Kendall Regional Medical Center
- Memorial Hospital Pembroke
- Memorial Hospital West
- Mount Sinai Medical Center
- North Shore Medical Center
- Northwest Medical Center
- Palmetto General Hospital
- Palms West Hospital
- Plantation General Hospital
- South Miami Hospital
- West Kendall Baptist Hospital
The majority of all HAIs can be traced to a few specific types of infections:
- Surgical site infections (SSI) – The risk varies according to the
surgical location on the body.
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) – The risk increases
the longer the catheter is in the body.
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) - These occur when
a specialized catheter is inserted in a major vein to give fluid, blood,
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) – Unclean ventilator equipment
can sicken those who require mechanical ventilation through an endotracheal
tube or tracheostomy.
- Clostridium difficile infections -- Commonly known as C-diff, this bacterial
infection can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening
inflammation of the colon.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections -- This type
of staph bacteria is resistant to many antibiotics.
In an effort to combat the problem, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) now ties Medicare payments to hospitals' infection
metrics. Those that continue to have high numbers of HAIs are penalized
with a one percent payment reduction to all Medicare discharges for a
year. That may not sound like much, but in fact can equal millions of
dollars saved by the federal government – and lost by underperforming
For 2014, there were 721 hospitals nationwide that scored less than the national average on different infection
metrics. UF Health Jacksonville and North Shore Medical Center in Miami
scored the worst of the 49 Florida hospitals that failed to meet the metrics.
For 2015, CMS revealed that 758 hospitals would be penalized for failing to reach the federal targets for hospital-acquired
infections. The 758 out of 3,308 providers represented those in the worst
performing quartile, the percentage of which jumped from 21.9 percent
of hospitals in fiscal year 2015 to 22.9 percent of hospitals in fiscal
year 2016. Thirty Florida hospitals ranked in the worst performing quartile,
with the lowest scores going to Shands Jacksonville, Ed Fraser Memorial
Hospital in Macclenny, and Gulf Coast Medical Center Lee Memorial Health
System in Fort Myers.
Infections do not have to be an inevitable component of hospitalization. There are several simple measures that medical professionals can take
to help keep patients safe, including the often-repeated hand-washing
advice. If you or someone you love has become seriously ill as a result
of a hospitalization, take a moment to learn more about how our firm can
be of assistance to you. As one of South Florida's most respected
and oldest law firms,
Stabinski & Funt, P.A. has helped many people sort out their legal rights, responsibilities,
and remedies. For 45 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless
personal injury victims and their families. We also work on a contingency
basis, which means that if there is no recovery, there is no fee or cost
to you. We encourage you to contact us for a free consultation by calling
filling out a case evaluation form.