Health Care

Beaufort County area hospitals rated average, below average at avoiding infections

When it comes to being safe and avoiding infections, Beaufort County area hospitals do not fare too well, according to a new ranking released by Consumer Reports.

The report rated more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals to show which do a good job of avoiding infections -- and which could do better.

Each year, an estimated 648,000 people in the U.S. develop infections during a hospital stay, resulting in about 75,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ratings are based on data the hospitals reported to the CDC between October 2013 and September 2014, which is the most recent public data available.

The safety rating is based on a 100-point scale.

The infection rating is on a scale of best, above average, average, below average and worst.

In South Carolina, 53 hospitals were given a safety score and rating for avoiding infections.

Here's how the Beaufort County area hospitals ranked:

Hilton Head Hospital (Hilton Head Island)

  • Safety score: 47
  • Avoiding infections: Below average
  • Beaufort Memorial Hospital (Beaufort)

    • Safety score: 50
  • Avoiding infections: Average
  • Coastal Carolina Hospital (Hardeeville)

    • Safety score: 48
  • Avoiding infections: Average
  • How are the scores and ratings determined?

    Safety score -- This is a summary of five categories that relate to hospital safety: avoiding infections, avoiding re-admissions, communicating about medications and discharge, appropriate use of chest and abdominal scanning, and avoiding mortality (medical and surgical). The score is on a 100-point scale. A hospital would score a 100 if it earned the highest possible score in all measures and would score 1 if it earned the lowest scores in all measures. Each of the five domains is weighted equally. Each is worth 20 points out of 100.

    Avoiding infections -- This rating is a composite for avoiding surgical-site infections, infections stemming from MRSA and C. difficile, as well as infections related to central-line catheters and urinary catheters. The rating is on a scale of best, above average, average, below average and worst.

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