Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates: Not All Change is Progress

13 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2013

Date Written: January 2013


Health-care associated infections (HAIs) are a major public health issue. In response, twenty-five states have adopted public reporting of hospital-specific HAI rates, but there is considerable diversity in how each state presents information. In related work, we assess the efficacy of these efforts, by scoring individual states on the content, credibility, and usability of their public reports and websites. In this article, we address a related but distinct topic. We focus on three states (California, Pennsylvania and Washington) which have made substantial changes in their HAI public reports, websites, or both during the short period since they began disclosing HAI rates. Indeed, Washington has made two sets of substantial changes to its HAI public reports/websites. How have these changes affected the content, credibility, and usability of these reports and websites? Stated more bluntly, does change mean progress? Sadly, as we show, the answer is sometimes “no.” We then discuss the lessons that other states should draw from these case studies.

Keywords: infections, HAIs, public reporting, usability

JEL Classification: i12, i18

Suggested Citation

Hyman, David A. and Black, Bernard S., Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates: Not All Change is Progress (January 2013). Jurimetrics, Forthcoming, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 12-21, Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 13-07, Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LE13-18, Available at SSRN:

David A. Hyman (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Bernard S. Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2784 (Phone)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-5049 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


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