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Notice to Readers: Publication of Guidance on Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated Infections

In U.S. hospitals alone, health-care--associated infections (HAIs) account for an estimated 2 million infections, 88,000 deaths, and $4.5 billion dollars in excess health-care costs annually (1). Increasingly, consumers are requesting public release of information such as HAI rates to enable them to make more informed health-care choices. Several states have initiated legislative efforts that will mandate hospitals and other health-care organizations to publicly report HAI rates.

The Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) has developed a guidance document on public reporting of HAIs to assist policymakers, program planners, consumer advocacy organizations, and others who will be tasked with designing and implementing such reporting systems. The document, Guidance on Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated Infections: Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, provides a framework for an HAI reporting system and recommendations for process and outcome measures to be included in the system; the document does not provide model legislation (2). These recommendations have been endorsed by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

References

  1. Weinstein RA. Nosocomial infections update. Emerg Infect Dis 1998;4:416--20.
  2. McKibben L, Horan T, Tokars JI, et al. Guidance on public reporting of healthcare-associated infections: recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. Am J Infect Control 2005;33:217--26.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Date last reviewed: 5/12/2005

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