Federal Infection Disclosure Mandates Urged

Surgical site infection rates within the nation's hospitals are largely a secret, with public reporting required by only eight states, says a new Johns Hopkins University report, which calls for federal disclosure mandates so problem hospitals are better motivated to reduce preventable harm. "There's a huge transparency problem within the entire industry of modern medicine," says Martin Makary, MD, a gastroenterology surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the paper's lead author. "Patients by and large are still left with no useful information to make healthcare choices about which hospital to go to, and because of that fact, they don't have access to metrics that are being collected and they're forced to walk in blind."

The eight states that require public reporting are South Carolina, Missouri, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Vermont and Oregon.