Strengthening Partner Networks for HAIs and AR

Executive Summary

CDC funds state-level programs to detect, prevent, respond to, and contain healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and antibiotic resistance (AR) pathogens. To advance their effectiveness and sustainability, these programs rely on strong partner networks. These partner networks help maximize the technical and operational capabilities of HAI/AR programs by leveraging partners’ resources, expertise, and influence to prevent HAIs and reduce AR.

To guide states in building, strengthening, sustaining, and evolving HAI/AR partner networks, CDC has summarized themes and characteristics for successful HAI/AR partner networks and has developed a success framework and recommended actions to assist states in maximizing the impact of their work within their partner networks.

This document summarizes an initial version of the key elements, success framework, and recommended actions for strengthening HAI/AR partner networks. This document is intended to complement existing guidance provided by CDC on HAIs and AR, such as those outlined within the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement.

Building Strong HAI/AR Partner Networks

HAI/AR Programs

State-level HAI/AR programs are essential to US efforts to detect, prevent, respond to, and contain HAIs and AR pathogens. These programs rely on technical capabilities (e.g., laboratory and diagnostics, epidemiology, outbreak response, surveillance, antibiotic stewardship, data analytics, research and innovation) and the operational capabilities that enable them (e.g., skilled/trained workforce, resources, policies). Partner networks (i.e., any HAI/AR collaboration in a state between two or more partners) underpin many technical and operational capabilities, advancing state-level programs’ effectiveness and sustainability.organization coordination

Footnote 1 

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2018). Healthcare-Associated Infection Programs: Enhancing Healthcare Infection Control Assessment and Response Meeting Report. Arlington, VA

HAI/AR Partner Networks

Collaboration among HAI/AR program partners is an essential component of effective HAI/AR detection, prevention, response, and containment efforts.[Footnote 1] State-level HAI/AR programs utilize partner networks to maximize technical and operational capabilities by leveraging partners’ resources, expertise, and influence to prevent HAIs and reduce AR.

Example Partners

  • State and local health departments
  • State, regional, public health, academic, or commercial laboratories
  • Academic institutions
  • Hospital and healthcare associations
  • Professional organizations
  • Quality improvement organizations
  • State health officials

Example Partner Networks

  • State and local health department connections
  • HAI/AR Program Advisory Committee
  • Topic-, partner-, or setting-specific collaboratives (e.g., long-term care, rural)
  • HAI/AR Program, hospital association, healthcare association, and quality improvement organization coordination

Introduction

The success framework aims to ensure states are maximizing their capabilities for system-wide HAI/AR prevention by engaging in effective partner networks that leverage partners’ resources, expertise, and influence to prevent HAIs and reduce AR.

What is the Success Framework for HAI/AR Partner Networks?

The success framework is a question-based guide to help users assess the progress, strengths, and areas for improvement within a partner network.

The framework is designed to support users in determining actions for building, strengthening, sustaining, and evolving HAI/AR partner networks.

How does the success framework work?

The success framework guides users through questions aligned to four partner network stages to develop partner networks or identify areas for improving partner networks.

The stages are:

  1. Determine Priorities
  2. Plan Approach
  3. Implement Activities
  4. Measure and Adjust

Who can use this success framework?

The success framework is designed to support users leading state-level partner networks.

Getting Started

Partner networks are dynamic and have different needs at different times. Users can determine whether they can use the framework as a roadmap for developing new partner networks or as a tune-up guide for improving, managing, sustaining, and evolving existing partner networks.

Determining How to Use the Framework

  1. First, determine which partner network you would like to assess or develop.
    You can apply the framework to any HAI/AR collaboration between two or more partners (e.g. HAI/AR Program Advisory Committee, topic-, partner-, or setting-specific collaborative).
  1. If the partner network is new, the framework can be used as a roadmap.
    The framework can be used as a guide to establish a strong foundation for your partner network, including which partners to engage; how to engage them; and how to plan, implement, and measure activities collaboratively.
  1. If the partner network exists and you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, the framework can be used as a tune-up guide.
  • Is this partner network experiencing changes (e.g., to leadership, partners, settings, priorities, funding)?
  • Do I think this partner network could be more efficient or effective?
  • Am I interested in maintaining and sustaining this partner network?

The framework can be used as a guide to manage changes, highlight improvement areas, sustain strengths, and/or guide evolution/discontinuation during ongoing coordination and/or at critical junctures in the partner network (e.g., changes to leadership, partners, settings, priorities, funding).