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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released voluntary guidelines to help lawmakers drafting legislation requiring hospitals to report nosocomial (health care-associated) infections. Currently, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Pennsylvania require hospitals to publicly report nosocomial infection rates. Similar legislation is pending in another 30 states. The purpose is to help consumers make informed choices about health care.


The guidelines recommend that states that require reporting:


* use established public health surveillance methods


* involve infection control experts


* track practices that prevent infections as well as measuring infection rates


* provide regular, confidential feedback to health care providers.



About 2 million people a year get pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or other infections after surgery, catheter insertion, or another procedure performed during hospitalization, and about 90,000 die.