Infection rates available on MyHospitals website

Rates of hospital-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) infections have been made available, for the first time, on MyHospitals, a website managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

SAB is a serious bloodstream infection, often resistant to antibiotic treatment, associated with hospital care—in particular, surgical and other invasive procedures.

The new information was announced today by Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon at an event at Bankstown Hospital in Sydney.

AIHW CEO and Director, David Kalisch, said ‘from today, the MyHospitals website will show how an individual hospital performs against a national benchmark.’

SAB rates are presented on the MyHospitals website using ‘speed-dials’ which compare an individual hospital’s performance against the national benchmark. The number of SAB cases is also shown.

‘This is an effective way for Australians to see, at a glance, how their local hospital compares to the national benchmark, when it comes to rates of this serious but potentially preventable infection,’ Mr Kalisch said.

The information presented on the MyHospitals website is consistent with state and territory SAB data to be published in the forthcoming Report on Government Services 2012 and the National Healthcare Agreement: performance report for 2010–11.

‘However, this is the first time this performance information is published nationally at a hospital level,’ Mr Kalisch said.

‘I am also very pleased that the new infection data is more timely than any other national hospital data ever released before. It is for the year ending June 2011, only 4 months ago.’

The AIHW is currently working with the Australian Government and state and territory governments on further enhancements to the MyHospitals website. Over time, hospital readmission rates will also be included on the website.

MyHospitals is an Australian Government initiative to inform the community about hospitals, by making it easier for people to access information about how individual hospitals are performing. The website is available at www.myhospitals.gov.au.

The website is based on the latest available information provided to the AIHW by state and territory health departments for public hospitals, and by private hospitals that have elected to be included in MyHospitals.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 27 October 2011

Further information: Nigel Harding: (02) 6244 1025 or 0409 307 671

Jess Cumming: (02) 6249 5033 or 0401 769 793