A new enhancement to the MyHospitals website allows anyone to check on the record of their local hospitals in combating SAB or staph infection.
According to an editorial published in the Medical Journal of Australia, 20.6 per cent of patients diagnosed with SAB (Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia) died within 30 days.
While many forms of SAB are difficult to treat with drugs, most are preventable by simple methods such as doctors and nurses regularly washing their hands between patients.
Last year Lismore Base Hospital was one of the worst performing hospitals in the state, with 3.4 for cases for every 10,000 bed days between April 1 and June 30. The national benchmark is 2.0.
A quick check on the website shows that this figure has improved significantly to 1.46 during the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, equating to 15 infections in 102,716 bed days.
Not only is this a 50 per cent improvement but it beat two other hospitals in the region. The Tweed hospital had a ratio of 1.65, or 15 infections in 90,654 bed days; Byron scored 1.7, although that equated to just one infection in 5,869 bed days.
By comparison, Ballina scored 0.75, relating to two infections over 26,771 bed days.
Both Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah hospitals topped the list, scoring perfect zeros.
Amanda Hagan, chief executive officer of Australian Unity Healthcare, said for many years Australian Unity has called on governments to increase transparency on quality and safety issues in hospital and health care settings.
‘Each preventable infection, surgery revision or hospital error is paid for by the community,’ Ms Hagan said.
To find out how your local hospital rates, simply go to the MyHospitals website, search or browse to your local hospital’s page and click on the safety tab.