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Report: Wisconsin patients less likely to get serious infections in hospital

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin patients are less likely than others to get serious infections while they’re in the hospital.

An annual report by the state Public Health Division shows that Wisconsin hospitals have dramatically reduced some of the most serious patient infections to below the national average.

For example, Wisconsin hospitals had an average of less than one intensive care patient who was infected by dirty or contaminated needles in 2012. That was 56 percent below the national average of one.

Urinary tract infections from catheters were 13 percent lower in Wisconsin than the national norm.

Brenda Ehlert of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton says medical staffers are doing a better job of washing their hands before they touch patients – and that’s the biggest reason for the drop in infections.

Ehlert tells the Appleton Post-Crescent it’s an ongoing mission to shorten a patient’s hospital stays. She says, “Every day a patient stays in a hospital is another day they’re at risk for infection.”