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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After years of debate, mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infection data has become a reality in four states and is quickly gaining momentum in several others. However, realizing the performance improvement and patient safety benefit that could result from public reporting requires support from an array of stakeholders and a system of measurement that is accurate, meaningful, and consistent across the nation.
To achieve this goal, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) will convene a Consensus Conference, Healthcare-Associated Infections: Realizing the Benefits of Mandatory Public Reporting, Feb. 7-8, 2005, in Atlanta.
As the leader of this conference, APIC invites legislative and regulatory officials, infection control professionals, hospital administrators, risk managers, and consumer and public safety advocates to participate in discussions that will shape the future of mandatory reporting legislation.
Conference participants will hear from leading experts surrounding the incidence and effect of healthcare-associated infections and their economic impact on the U.S. healthcare system; gain insights from lessons learned by Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Pennsylvania; and participate in discussions with patient safety advocates surrounding the development of a standardized infection surveillance and reporting system that can address the needs of both consumers and healthcare institutions nationwide.
The conference is intended for professionals in infection control, healthcare epidemiology, quality improvement and patient safety, risk management, healthcare administration, patient advocacy, and state and federal government, including public health officials.
There are two primary reasons for convening this consensus conference, explained Kathy Warye, APIC executive director. First and foremost, to bring key stakeholders together to share views and approaches with one another this is critically important given the complexity and importance of reporting; second, to determine a path forward that will ultimately improve outcomes. Warye continued, Since infection control professionals will be central to this activity, we feel it is important for APIC to provide a forum for the dialog and decisions that will be made across the nation.
Key to this discussion will be the Consumers Unions perspective. Representatives from the consumer advocacy organization will share their model bill and discuss the Stop Hospital Infections Now campaign, explained conference co-organizer Denise Graham, manager of government affairs for APIC. Nancy Foster, senior policy director of the American Hospital Association will also share the perspective of her organization during this two-day Summit.
In addition, we hope to engage the involvement of legislators and key public policy staff from across the country who are involved in this debate, so that we can all learn from each others experiences, Graham said. She added that Teresa Horan of the CDC will be sharing plans for a new infections surveillance program -- the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) due to be unveiled in the near future.
We all share the same goal, said P.J. Brennan, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), to ensure that patients receive the best healthcare possible, and to provide meaningful data that will enable them to make more informed choices. We encourage those interested to attend this event in order to learn how this issue is unfolding across the country.
APIC is a multi-disciplinary voluntary international health organization with more than 10,000 members whose primary responsibility is infection prevention and control and epidemiology. APICs mission is to improve health and promote patient and employee safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes. APIC advances this goal through education, research, collaboration, practice, and credentialing.