Three Atlanta hospitals among the lowest scoring in the nation for preventing infection rates

Rich Addicks / AJC

Three Atlanta teaching hospitals were among the lowest scoring for preventing certain infection rates among patients, according to new ratings from Consumer Reports.

The consumer advocacy publication analyzed the prevention rates of central-line infections in the intensive care units at teaching hospitals in the U.S. from Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2015.

Atlanta Medical Center, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Memorial Hospital ranked among the 31 lowest scoring hospitals in the country.

Of the three local hospitals, Grady has shown the most improvement over the five-year period moving from more than two times worse than the national average to between the historic average to 50 percent above average.

Emory has sustained a level between the historic average to 50 percent above average from 2012 to 2015.

Atlanta Medical Center saw a decline in 2015 to a level up to two times worse than the historic average.

About 650,000 people developed infections after being admitted to U.S. Hospitals in 2011 and 75,000 died based on the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Central line infections account for about five percent of all hospital acquired infections. In 2015, more than 27,000 people acquired these deadly, preventable infections which are costly to treat.

Central line infections are infections that can be traced back to the intravenous tubes used to supply medication, fluids and nutrients to patients. When handled improperly, the lines can carry germs which are then directly pumped into the patient’s bloodstream giving deadly strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria a path to spread to the heart and other internal organs.

Many hospitals have reduced their central line infection rates by using versions of a checklist developed in 2001 by Peter Pronovost, M.D., now senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. But progress is slower than it should be, said experts, especially at teaching hospitals which should represent the best in healthcare.

For the full story and for tips on preventing infections while in the hospital, see the January issue of Consumer Reports.

Reader Comments 0

51 comments
Kevina McCoy
Kevina McCoy

I don't want to have my baby at Emory anymore unfortunately I have too because my insurance doesn't cover Piedmont and I have the rest of them here but my last two experiences here was not good!! So upsetting to see this.

TerryHanger
TerryHanger

Emory did a great job on my husbands kidney transplant.  They took all the right precautions not to pass any infections.  I watched like a hawk and never had to say a thing but thank you.

KLa Byrd
KLa Byrd

Leslie Dorham read this...

Prae K. Terry
Prae K. Terry

I contracted 2 Mersa (staph) infections while being treated for Leukemia in Jan 2014. They called a CODE BLUE on me, told my family to come immediately b/c I most likely will make it through the night. Dr's expected me to die, BUT GOD...... #JehovahRaphaOurHealer #GloryHallelujah #GodHasPlansForMyLife #GodIsFaithful

Rhonda Blessed
Rhonda Blessed

Atlanta Medical Center, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Memorial Hospital ranked among the 31 lowest scoring hospitals in the country.

Waters Connie Jarvis
Waters Connie Jarvis

Grady treats people that have no insurance there. One of the best trama units there also the busiest. This is does not excuse there infection score. If i need a trama hospital i would want to be taken there. Emory use to be one of best cancer centers are they now don't know i would trust them as well Mid town hospital. I know nothing about them

Leigh Blakey
Leigh Blakey

Grady and AMC are our trauma hospitals. When your hurt they are the place to go!!

Linz ThatIs All
Linz ThatIs All

Grady gave my brother the wrong blood during an illegal transfusion. He died.

Julia Johnson
Julia Johnson

Look at what not being done, correct it. Its manditory for patient care. Get some good hand washing skills, wear gloves always, be carful of cross contaminents. clean up spills with proper solution, use masks, isolate correctly sterlize properly, clean units properly, do the parient care accurately in a timely manner, using correct body mechanics.

Vernon Smith
Vernon Smith

They nee dto started using OdoBan Professional Series

Malinda Ragsdale
Malinda Ragsdale

Hard to believe! They saved my dads life. I would use any of the 3. I trust the drs 100%. I've had a lot of family members use emory. Never a problem. They've saved so many close to me

Joan Ellen Six
Joan Ellen Six

I'm not sure about Emory Midtown but I do know that the other two get a lot patients that are in poor shape . Sometimes you have to look at what they are like when the patient comes through the door.

Brittany Chanel Price
Brittany Chanel Price

I love Grady, they really do the best they can with what they have. The other two hospitals you would expect better from smh

Timothy Rand Brown
Timothy Rand Brown

I was cured of a very aggressive rare cancer at Grady - hospitalized 5 times for a total of 36 days in the hospital, and that place was clean as a whistle. Articles like this one are misleading and only further preconceived notions about health care facilities....

Norma Jay
Norma Jay

Some staff are so lax too. I did a clincal rotation on an isolation floor but noticed that many of the nurses weren't gowning up. When this was brought up to the charge nurse she said, 'we're not good at following that.' Say what? I saw several times why hospitals are constantly transmitting infection.. just nasty.

quickdigits
quickdigits

Ever been in one of Grady Hospital's rest rooms? Toilet paper all over the place, urine on the floor, filthy toilets....do people even Know how to Use toilet paper anyway? Would be much cleaner if they installed bidets....but people wouldn't know how to use those either....ho hum.....

Melissa Krulac
Melissa Krulac

Bonnie Evans Emory doesn't do SCT at the midtown location, correct?

Bonnie Evans
Bonnie Evans

I have never heard that. It seems they are all done on Clifton.

Bonnie Evans
Bonnie Evans

One must be diligent and a caregiver needs to be alert.

Robert Karma
Robert Karma

It is important to point out that this list only covers Teaching Hospitals and not regular hospitals. Teaching Hospitals have residents that are affiliated with a university working there where regular hospitals just have attending doctors. So if you feel a hospital was left off this list, be sure you are talking about a Teaching Hospital.

Tobie Barnum-Dunbar
Tobie Barnum-Dunbar

Here you go: "Atlanta Medical Center, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Memorial Hospital ranked among the 31 lowest scoring hospitals in the country."

Teri Monique
Teri Monique

The main three that Everybody tell you to go to, they have the best Trauma Unit, burn Unit, etc...I'm not surprised

Pat Dempsey
Pat Dempsey

Don't blame the nursing staff--- doctors are very careless and negligent for proper hand washing between patients.

Signe Hovde
Signe Hovde

I'm surprised to not see Piedmont Henry County on this list. I pretty much camped out there in June and July of 2015, while my mother was going through her last illness. It was a appalling experience. I had to *force* the staff to give her clean linen and keep up with her pain medications. One of the staff actually asked me if I ever planned to home. All I could manage was "no", because if I had said another word, it would have required bail money. We are an old fashioned Southern family so no one seriously ill is ever left alone. They seemed offended by that. The sanitation was low-level adequate at best.

Shasta Tripp
Shasta Tripp

I think the hospital can use a lot of help in the area communicating with the family and also together with co workers the nurses are awesome there but it's just not the staff that make the hospital

Janice Lloyd
Janice Lloyd

Yes, a relative of mine was in a local hospital and infection control principles were so bad I wrote Joint commission. That hospital's administrative staff was recently FIRED.

Carolyn Davis
Carolyn Davis

They all have residents that work there. Maybe they need to look at that issue. Maybe not. Just saying

Nicole Wells
Nicole Wells

Wow I just knew dekalb medical would make the list. I'm quite surprised.

Derrick Davis
Derrick Davis

I am wondering if they arent included in "metro" atlanta

Greg Henry
Greg Henry

Julia Christine Murphy : So.... YOU take the proper precautions. Are you speaking for all other health care workers? Like those who coughed on their hands and touched my body with them seconds later? Or the many others who do the same during exams? Yeah... SOME healthcare workers do what they need and should do - others, do not. Otherwise these places would not be getting low scores and high infection rates. And "improving" still doesn't mean they're at the levels they need to be at if 75,000 people a year are still dying. So yeah, cupcake, I'm gonna keep judging until they can drop those number a lot MORE.