By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hospitals are watching how they care for patients closer than ever. The experts call them accountability measures, but hospitals ratings and even payments are being based on the quality of care they provide.

Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to infections. And there is a good reason: we’re seeing it across the board. Whether it’s MRSA, C. diff, or any number of problems, infections are occurring in concerning numbers. There are many causes, and fingers can be pointed in many directions.

One big reason is we rely far too greatly on antibiotics for care. By overusing them or not using them properly, we are growing super dangerous organisms that don’t respond to some of our best treatments.

The other problem is that people don’t wash their hands in the hospital often enough. Hand washing is the key to reducing the rate of infection.

Finally hospitals are looking at treatment based issues like infections from catheters or the spread of pneumonia in cases where the use of a vaccine could have made a big difference.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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