New Data Shows Infection Rates Still Too High In U.S. Hospitals

Only two hospitals in Michigan fully meet standards in reported categories


March 16, 2016 Today, the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) announces though hospitals are making strides in avoiding central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), a report released today shows patients are still experiencing these serious, and sometimes fatal, infections too frequently.  The findings show more than 50 percent of hospitals (nationally) have high healthcare associated infection rates.

The report, Health Care-Associated Infections, is the first in a series of five in-depth reports analyzing current health care safety trends in the United States, as revealed by infection data collected by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based organization representing consumers, employers and other purchasers aiming to improve health care safety and quality, and assembled and analyzed by Castlight Health.

“We’re in the midst of Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 13-19) and there’s no better time than right now to stress the importance of transparent, safe care at hospitals,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog.  “The good news is that a record number of hospitals make their infection rates public, which shows commendable transparency and candor within the hospital industry. The bad news is there are still too many infections.”

Of the 131 Michigan hospitals in the survey, 76 declined to report.

“To have 58 percent of our hospitals not willing to report and show transparency of infection rates is scary and a disservice to the public,” stated EAM President, Bret Jackson.  “The EAM appreciates the hospitals who participate in The Leapfrog Group Survey and we encourage consumers to choose hospitals who are willing to report and improve safety standards.”

To view which hospitals participate in transparency, consumers can go to

In Michigan, only two hospitals fully met the CLABSI and CAUTI standards:  DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township and MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland in Midland.

Eight Michigan hospitals fully met the CLABSI standards:  Garden City Hospital (Garden City), Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital (West Bloomfield), DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital (Commerce Twp.), McLaren-Oakland Hospital (Pontiac), McLaren-Macomb Hospital (Mt. Clemens), Metro Health Hospital (Wyoming), MidMichigan Medical Center (Midland), and Spectrum Health United Hospital (Greenville).

Nine Michigan hospitals fully met the CAUTI standards:  DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital (Commerce Twp.), McLaren-Port Huron Hospital (Port Huron), Mercy Health Hackley Campus (Muskegon), Mercy Health Mercy Hospital (Muskegon), MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot (Alma), MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland (Midland), Spectrum Health Big Rapids (Big Rapids), Spectrum Health Reed City (Reed City), and St. Mary Mercy Hospital (Livonia).

National Key findings include:

  • At the majority of hospitals (67 percent), the central line infection rate was too high – Only 25 percent of hospitals met The Leapfrog Group’s target standardized infection ratio (SIR) of zero for CLABSI. Sixty-seven percent of hospitals had an SIR between zero and 1.0, while a small, but significant minority of hospitals (8 percent) had an SIR of above 1.0.
  • Only 25 percent of hospitals met Leapfrog’s urinary tract infection standard – The Leapfrog Group’s standard for CAUTI is that the rate of infections is close to zero. CAUTI is considered the most common type of health care-acquired infections
  • Infection rates vary by state of residence, choice of hospital and metropolitan area – On average, New Hampshire had the safest hospitals, with 67 percent reporting a CLABSI rate of zero. Alternatively, Rhode Island and Maryland showed the most urgent need to improve, with no hospitals reporting a CLABSI rate of zero. What’s more, hospital infection rates vary significantly within communities. For example, one West Coast city had CLABSI rates range from zero to over five times the expected rate.
  • Infection rates are declining, but more transparency and quality improvement are needed – Public reporting through Leapfrog has helped galvanize a decline in CLABSI rates. For example, the percentage of hospitals reporting a CLABSI rate of zero has steadily increased from 18.8 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2015. However, nationwide, three quarters of hospitals still do not meet Leapfrog’s standards.

Today’s report is the first in a series of five reports examining key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide based on data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of more than 1,500 U.S. hospitals and analysis provided by Castlight Health. Future publications in the report series will be available at




%d bloggers like this: