Laws on Hospital Infections, Seismic Safety Enacted
A state law (SB 739) will require hospitals to disclose whether they comply with strategies to minimize hospital-acquired infections, but an earlier version of the legislation would have required hospitals to disclose infection rates, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed the law after Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) agreed to drop the infection reporting requirements.
As it currently stands, the law mandates the creation of a committee to advise the state on infection control and requires hospitals to use the same methods to track infections.
Opponents of the original form of the bill said that it is difficult to determine where an infection originated and that hospitals that track infections more thoroughly could appear to provide lower quality care than facilities with more lax reporting procedures.
Opponents also cited the forthcoming hospital report card to be released by the California Hospital and Reporting Task Force. The report card will include some information on infections. The first report card is due this winter, according to the Enterprise-Record.
An analysis of SB 739 said that more than 200 hospitals have agreed to participate in CHART (Mitchell, Chico Enterprise-Record, 10/8).
The governor also signed SB 1661, which will allow hospitals to request an additional two-year delay to the deadline for compliance with state seismic safety rules, the San Francisco Business Times reports. To qualify for the extension, hospitals must have:
- Begun construction when they request the extension;
- Submitted construction plans to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development four years before the 2013 deadline;
- Received a building permit two years before the deadline; and
- Submitted to state officials a timetable for construction.