HAMILTON - A landmark infections reporting bill received Gov. Corzine's signature Wednesday at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Oct. 31.
"This bill will save lives," said AARP New Jersey State President Sy Larson. "Transparency and information mean more accountability, fewer infections, and better health when patients leave the hospital."
Last year, there were 11 outbreaks of dangerous infections in New Jersey's hospitals. Across the country, more than 99,000 people died from hospital infections.
New Jersey is the 20th state to enact public reporting legislation.
Federal health officials estimate that one in 20 patients picks up an infection while hospitalized. These infections can stall recovery, prolong hospital stays, and even require invasive surgeries. A Pennsylvania study found that the average commercial insurance payment there for patients who acquired an infection in the hospital was almost $54,000 compared to $8,000 for each patient who did not acquire an infection.