Wide differences
Hospitals' performance on infections

About this project

California consumers were urged not to read too much into its first-ever report on hospital-acquired infections. In fact, though, the report suggests some wide differences in performance, and interviews with hospital officials show that many medical centers are working intensely to reduce their infection numbers. In some places, these efforts appear to be paying off.

Findings

  • California consumers were urged not to read too much into its first-ever report on hospital-acquired infections.
  • The report suggests some wide differences in performance, and interviews with hospital officials show that many medical centers are working intensely to reduce their infection numbers
  • In some places, these efforts appear to be paying off.

Stories

A guide to the four infection types

The California Department of Public Health is required to report data from acute-care hospitals on four different hospital-acquired infections...

Chart: Inland Empire infection rates

Infection numbers and rates for so-called "central-line" infections at select hospitals' intensive care units.

City of Hope vigilant in fight against infection

The three-dozen cancer patients on City of Hope's top floor are among those least able to fight off infection. They've received bone marrow transplants to infuse their blood with healthy new cells.

Hospitals actively seeking to reduce infections in facilities

Visitors riding the elevators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles find themselves face-to-face with colorful floor-to-ceiling posters on the inside doors.

Inland area hospitals grapple with infectious diseases

Infection expert Silvia Gnass had barely begun her new job at Riverside County Regional Medical Center two years ago when she began counting cases of patient infections to report to Washington and Sacramento.

KQED features hospital infections radio story

Multimedia Reporter Lauren M. Whaley joined Senior Writer Deborah Schoch to produce a story about a hospital in the Inland Empire making great strides in its fight against central line infections. Listen to the radio story that aired on KQED's...

Impact of 'wide differences in hospitals' performance'

This project changed the storyline about how consumers should read state data on hospital infections. The Department of Public Health had warned consumers away from reading much of anything into the infections report.

Audio

Authors

Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.

This year, she is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

Whaley was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, I worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist, based in Los Angeles. She is a past president of the national organization Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. 

Project Partners

© 2018 Center for Health Reporting

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