Banner-UMC refutes critical report regarding infection rates

Banner-UMC refutes critical report regarding infection rates

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Banner-University Medical Center takes issue with a new Consumer Reports article that ranks it among the 31 lowest-scoring teaching hospitals when it comes to central-line infections in intensive care units.

The article in the January 2017 issue covers teaching hospitals from January 2011 through December 2015, which Consumer Reports said was the most recent federal data available to the public.

Banner-UMC is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Arizona.

A central line is the intravenous tube through which a patient gets medications, nutrients and fluids.

According to the article, Banner-UMC was among the 31 lowest-scoring teaching hospitals when it came to those infections.

The magazine said Banner-UMC gets its "middle rating," meaning the hospital's infection rate is at the historic average and up to 50 percent better than the historic average.

However, Banner-UMC said, in a written response, that the Consumer Reports article is out-of-date because it goes only through 2015.

Banner said it acquired the hospital in March 2015.

Banner-UMC said it has had a 75 percent reduction in central-line infections in the ICU when you compare January to September 2016 to last year.

The Consumer Reports article said central-line infections account for about five percent of all hospital-acquired infections.

They are fatal in up to one-quarter of cases.

They also are expensive, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"According to the results, on a per-case basis, the central line-associated bloodstream infections were found to be the most costly HAIs (hospital-acquired infections) at $45,814," according to JAMA.

Consumer Reports said central-line infections are preventable, with some hospitals able to bring their infection numbers down to zero.

There are protocols for infection prevention that include things as simple as hand washing, and even cutting back on the number of IV's when possible.

To see the Consumer Reports article click HERE.

To see a Consumer Reports ratings guide for hospitals around the country, including in Tucson, click HERE.

The entire Banner-UMC response:

Patient safety is the top priority at Banner Health, and we appreciate the intent of the information that Consumer Reports is sharing with their readers.

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