Eighty-one hospitals in Florida are teaming up with one important goal: to reduce the number of infections and complications that occur after surgery. For patients throughout the state, the coalition's work could cut their chances of being readmitted to the hospital after an operation. And for hospitals, fewer complications could reduce the sorts of costs that will come under increasing scrutiny with the new federal health-overhaul law. Currently about one in five patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted for complications. These subsequent hospital stays add $11,000 or more to the average cost of a patient's care. Starting this fall, hospitals ranging from 759-bed
Winter Haven Hospital to the entire Florida Hospital network will study four types of hospital patients: those who developed urinary-tract infections, those with surgical-site infections, those who had colorectal surgery and those 65 or older 65 who had any type of surgery.