Public Reporting in Reducing ICU Infections: Leapfrog Group Responds to CDC Infection Report

Today, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that hospitals and other healthcare facilities are doing a better job of preventing four common infections, the Leapfrog Group's CEO, Leah Binder, pointed to the importance of transparency and public reporting in helping to reach this outcome.

As Binder notes, "We are pleased to see these improvements in rates of infections and applaud organizations, that are, like Leapfrog, pushing for continued improvement. For us, this points to the importance of publicly reporting hospital performance on important safety measures. According to today's announcement from the CDC, the infection rates that declined most significantly, by 35 percent, are central line-associated bloodstream infections in critical-care patients. The Leapfrog Group began collecting and publicly reporting out these data for almost 1,000 hospitals nationwide in 2009 so that consumers who wish to go to hospitals with zero or low infection rates can now make an informed choice. The hundreds of purchasers who have led the Leapfrog campaign for transparency in hospital safety and quality take great comfort in this progress and recommit themselves to getting even more hospitals to report publicly to Leapfrog's annual hospital survey in the future."

Through its annual survey, The Leapfrog Group asks hospitals to report their rates of central-line associated blood stream infections utilizing the same measure as the CDC/NHSN. Hospital rates of infections per ICU type can be viewed at In addition, this year, Leapfrog completed a qualitative study to begin to understand how community hospitals were able to get to and maintain a rate of zero central-line infections in ICUs. The study, "Getting to Zero: Reducing Rates of Central-line Associated Blood Stream Infections in Community Hospitals," found that all four hospitals involved in the study used a checklist and guidelines promulgated by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the CDC.

A hospital's full safety and quality results from the 2011 Leapfrog Hospital Survey can be viewed at In addition to hospital rates of central line-associated blood stream infections, visitors can also find information, by hospital, on rates of other hospital-acquired conditions, survival rates for certain high-risk surgeries, rates of early elective deliveries, and much more information about a hospital's safety and quality.