Senator Hwang Calls for Enhanced Reporting of Hospital-Acquired Infections

February 24, 2015

For state Sen. Tony Hwang, SB 252 is deeply personal.

The proposed bill, which was the subject Monday of a public hearing before the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, would enhance the state’s reporting of hospital-acquired infections by making the information more easily accessible to consumers.

In testifying before the Public Health Committee, Sen. Hwang stressed that the proposed bill is not meant to vilify hospitals or paint them in a negative light. In fact, he noted, Connecticut is home to some of the best hospitals in the country, and those institutions not only provide critical care to people every day; they are ingrained in the fabric of our communities.

The proposal was brought on in part by an alarming report published in December by Kaiser Health News, in which the outlet noted that nearly half of Connecticut’s hospitals were penalized by Medicare for high rates of hospital-acquired conditions, including hospital-acquired infections.

“This is all about patient care, consumer protection and consumer’s rights,” Sen. Hwang said. “No one going in to a hospital for surgery, or any treatment for that matter, should have to worry about acquiring an infection. Hopefully we’ll get there one day soon, but until then, we need to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed choices about their health care.”

The fact is that this information is already available. Connecticut is one of about two dozen states that require reporting of hospital-acquired infections. The problem, Sen. Hwang asserts, is that the information is not readily available to consumers in a user-friendly, intuitive fashion – not on the homepage of the Department of Health’s website, nor on the websites of Connecticut’s 32 hospitals.

“People should not have to jump through hoops to find this information,” Sen. Hwang said. “This legislation aims to change that.”

In proposing the bill, Sen. Hwang is picking up a torch that was ignited by former state Sen. John McKinney, who championed the legislation to protect consumers.

“While my proposed bill is guided by the need for greater transparency and easier access to credible information for healthcare consumers, I truly believe that enhanced reporting of hospital-acquired infections benefits all concerned parties, including our hospitals,” Senator Hwang said. “I am committed to working with the Department of Public Health and our hospitals on this important public health issue, regardless of what becomes of this proposed legislation.”


Click here for a video of Senator Hwang talking about hospital infection rates.