Infection Statistics Released
At least one local hospital says the numbers don't tell the whole story.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released data about surgical infection rates for all Missouri hospitals. The study covers three procedures.
"Abdominal hysterectomy, total hip surgeries, and cardiac bypass procedures," explained Eddie Hedrick, Emerging Infection Coordinator.
But DHSS officials don't want people to make judgments based on these numbers alone.
"For example, in one hospital you're hernia repair may be a 20 year old athlete. And in another it might be a 65 year old obese diabetic."
The report shows the Lake Regional Health System has a high infection rate in coronary artery operations. Its infection rate is about 10 per 100 procedures. That's compared to around three, the rate for similar sized hospitals in Missouri.
But Lake Hospital officials say those numbers might not be on target.
"Well, I think you have to look at the sample size. I think you have to look at, as I said, the overall infection rate of this hospital, which is very good. I think you also have to look at their only measuring these three different surgical procedures here, so you have to take into consideration all of the different surgical procedures in the infection rate," explained Laura Gajda, Hospital Director of Public Relations.
DHSS says patients should not look at the numbers as a rating system to show which hospitals are best.
Missouri is still in the early stages of data collecting, and it could be years before the data is a good representation of Missouri hospitals.
The DHSS will update the infection rate every three months.