P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2007
AUSTIN - Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today filed legislation (SB 288) to reduce the prevalence of acquired infections at Texas' hospitals and other health care facilities.
"The last thing a sick person needs is to contract another disease while he or she is trying to get well. However, when a patient seeks treatment at a hospital or clinic, they are obviously going to come in contact with others who are ill. The goal of this bill is to ensure that we are taking precautions to minimize a patient's exposure to other illnesses," Senator Nelson said.
So-called "acquired infections" have been the subject of national media attention with approximately 2 million infections nationally each year, along with 90,000 deaths and 4.5 billion in excess health care costs. SB 288 contains recommendations of a working group created under SB 872 by Senator Nelson in the 2005 legislative session. Specifically, SB 288:
- Directs the Department of State Health Services to develop a system for the reporting of acquired infections, as well as a training mechanism;
- Creates a permanent Advisory Panel to guide implementation and monitor results;
- Requires general hospitals, pediatric and adolescent hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers or state-owned/state-operated hospitals that provide acute medical or surgical services to report infection rate data;
- Establishes confidentiality standards to patient specific information;
- Ensures that collected data is used to educate consumers and not as a tool to establish standard of care as part of a civil lawsuit.