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Use Rating Systems for Hospital Cleanliness

July 26, 2002

Re "Preventable Hospital Infections Becoming a Deadly Epidemic," July 21: Infection rates in hospitals have long been a serious concern for patients. If restaurants receive ratings from A to D for cleanliness, then certainly hospitals should be evaluated in a very public way for their infection control and cleanliness. This is an extremely important area of medical concern. Patients--which most of us will become at some point in our lives--must realize that no matter how well trained their doctors may be, their lives may depend on adequate hand-washing and housekeeping tasks and a high level of infection control practiced by everyone working in the hospital.

We as a society must determine where our public funds are to be spent for health and safety and make demands on those in charge of tax-dollar spending. Obviously, cost-cutting should not start at the level of infection control, and the public should be notified as to the infection rate and cleanliness rating a hospital receives before entering as a patient.

Betty L. Seidmon

Los Angeles

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