Law would crack down on nursing home infection rates

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Pennsylvania legislators and Gov. Ed Rendell (D) support new legislation that would require nursing homes and hospitals in the state to be more forthcoming about infections in their facilities.

Under the bill, nursing homes and hospitals in the state would be required to report patient infections to state health authorities within 24 hours of diagnosis and take precautions to reduce infection rates.

If signed by the governor, the law also would give incentive payments to facilities that reduce infections by 10% from the previous year. In addition, some hospitals would be required to install electronic monitoring systems that check laboratory, pharmacy and radiology reports on patients for signs of infection within two years.