Patients in hospitals across the U.S. are more at risk of contracting infections from invasive devices and procedures since the pandemic began, according to new data from The Leapfrog Group, a nationwide nonprofit that monitors patient safety.

What is the standardized infection ratio?

A metric used to track healthcare-associated infections over time. The ratio is calculated by dividing the number of infections by the number of predicted infections for a specific facility.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On average, the standardized infection ratio for infections from central lines increased by 60%, staph infections increased by 37%, and urinary tract infections from catheters increased by 19%.

“The dramatic spike in (health care-associated infections) reported in this Safety Grade cycle should stop hospitals in their tracks — infections like these can be life or death for some patients,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said in a news release.

Most Fort Worth hospitals performed better than the average hospital in the U.S. for all three infections, based on a years’ worth of data between 2021 and 2022. 

Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth, Medical City Alliance and JPS Health Network performed worse than the average hospital in the U.S. when it comes to the number of blood infections from central lines. JPS also performed worse than the average hospital for the number of urinary tract infections from catheters.

Data comparing each hospital’s current infection numbers to pre-pandemic numbers wasn’t immediately available, and spokespeople from Fort Worth hospitals did not immediately respond to requests for comment before this story’s publication. 

Overall safety grades for Fort Worth hospitals stayed consistent or improved since last year.

To calculate each grade, The Leapfrog Group analyzes publicly available data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which requires hospitals to report certain medical errors and survey adult patients who stay overnight. 

Some hospitals also choose to submit supplementary data to The Leapfrog Group through the nonprofit’s hospital survey, but doing so isn’t required to receive a grade, Missy Danforth, vice president of health care ratings at The Leapfrog Group, previously told the Fort Worth Report.

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 5 to correctly describe the increase in healthcare-associated infections and explain the standardized infection ratio.

Alexis Allison is the health reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter

Her position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Alexis Allison covers health for the Fort Worth Report. When she can, she'll slip in an illustration or two. Allison is a former high school English teacher and hopes her journalism is likewise educational....