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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.
Publication of Guidance on Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated
Infections. JAMA. 2005;294(8):896. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.896