Preventing hospital infections…

Some of the first signature on health bills were made today, on the vital issue of hospital infections… We wrote about them when the Consumers Union RV came to town (unfortunately, the other bills mentioned in that post stalled in the Legislature)…

The Governor signed:

SB 1058 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) establishes the Medical Facility Infection Control and Prevention Act or “Nile’s Law,” which requires hospitals to develop more comprehensive policies and procedures to improve and ensure effective infection control practices. It also requires the Department of Public Health to establish a health care acquired infection program that will receive reports from hospitals on specified hospital-acquired infection rates. In addition, hospitals would be required to screen certain high-risk patients for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and to provide instructions regarding aftercare and precautions to prevent the spread of the infection to others.

SB 158 by Senator Dean Florez (D-Shafter) expands upon the current responsibilities of the existing California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Healthcare Associated Infections Advisory Committee. The bill requires hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to establish plans to improve patient safety. This bill also contains detailed training requirements for hospital infection control committee chairs, clinicians, and all licensed and non-licensed hospital staff.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that every year two million patients contract a hospital acquired infection while being treated for something else, and almost 100,000 die every year from these infections.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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