Patient referrals between hospitals influence the rates of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology. It went on to explain that referred patients often have the potential to carry a hospital-acquired infection with them.
The prevalence of hospital-acquired infection is widely believed to reflect the quality of hygiene and health care in individual hospitals, and is therefore often used as a benchmark for hospital quality. However, this assumes that the rate at which patients introduce infections is equal for all hospitals. The authors, based in The Netherlands, show that this assumption is unlikely to be correct.
The complete study can be found here.