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Oregon Hospital Infection Rates Less Than National Average

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The chances of you getting an infection at an Oregon hospital is significantly lower than the national average.

As of last year, hospitals are required to report more types of infections. And those numbers show infections in Oregon hospitals are about 20 to 40 percent less than the national average.

Most surgery site infections and central line catheter infections have decreased significantly in the state.

But infections from hip replacements in Oregon are 13 percent higher than the national average.

Both Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and McKenzie-Willamette say they meet or surpass Oregon’s goals for keeping infections at bay.

“Our central line program, we’re very focused on sterile technique when those lines are put in and then getting them out as soon as possible,” said Patient Safety Officer Dr. Stephanie Jackson of Sacred Heart – RiverBend.

Doctors at RiverBend mentioned some reporting flaws, which they say can statistically make infection numbers appear worse than they really are.

They say whenever doctors do have to deal with an infection, they monitor it closely to determine the specific root cause.

Both hospitals say even since these recently-reported infection numbers, some have already been nipped in the bud.

Doctors at RiverBend urge patients to also be involved in the process of preventing infection. They say you should not hesitate to ask your caregiver to wash their hands.

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