Mar 23 2007

MRSA Disclosure Legislation: Act Now!

The other day I blogged — again — about MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections and asked you to contact your legislators to ask them to pass legislation to require hospitals to disclose their infection rates.

These superbug infections kill 100,000 Americans per year, and infect almost 2 million others — all unnecessary because controlling the spread is really only a matter of “clean” — washing hands, sanitizing instruments — all those things your mother taught you about cleanliness. However — through laziness and carelessness, these superbugs continue to spread, maim and kill. Requiring this type of disclosure is truly the only way hospitals will get serious about stopping their spread, because disclosure will allow patients to choose — meaning — disclosure will affect a hospital’s bottom line.

One of my friends and co-advocates, Julia Schopick, sent me this link to make it easy for all of us to contact our legislators to make this kind of legislation happen! (Thanks, Julia!).

There are 16 states that already have legislation in place. You can get a master list of states that have enacted infection-rate legislation here.

Twelve more states are in the process of considering legislation to require disclosure. If you are a resident of any of these states, it’s VERY IMPORTANT you contact your legislators and/or your governor (see below — we’ve made it easy for you*.) Here are those states: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. To get more details about the actual bill numbers and their status, link here.

Consumer Reports folks — the not for profit that researches and helps consumers with their decision-making. They have devoted a website specifically to stopping hospital-acquired staph and other infections — StopHospitalInfections.org

* If your state is one of the ones that is thinking about legislation — OR — if your state is not yet considering this life-saving step, Consumer’s Union has made it easy for you. Just link to their online form — the letter is already written — you just need to identify yourself and what state you live in — and they will submit the letter for you!

It’s easy to do your part to save lives. It takes only a few minutes. Please do it today!

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If you want to read more about hospital acquired superbug infections such as MRSA and c.difficile, you can find my other reports on the subject here.

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