CDC Issues Guidance for Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated Infections; Infection Prevention Community Pledges Support

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) issued recommendations today addressing the public reporting of healthcare-associated infections.


This guidance was designed to provide direction and assistance to those

states that have enacted or are considering legislation to require

hospitals to make infection rate data available to consumers. Infection

prevention experts, acknowledging that consumers can and should play a

larger role in their own health care, looked to HICPAC to help states,

consumers and hospitals understand the complexities of public reporting.


We support the idea of making meaningful information available to

consumers, said Kathleen Meehan Arias, president-elect of the

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

(APIC). We have dedicated our professional lives to preventing

infections -- we just need to make sure that we do it right, so that

patients have good, reliable information upon which to make sound



The HICPAC guidance document recommends that any efforts to mandate

public reporting ensure (1) the use of established surveillance methods

and experts in infection prevention to gather, interpret and report such

information; (2) the establishment of a multi-disciplinary advisory

committee to provide oversight in the creation of any reporting system;

(3) the choice of appropriate process and outcome measures; and (4) the

provision of feedback to healthcare providers.


 The guidance recommends that public reporting efforts focus on three

process measures and two outcome measures, to be phased in over time.

Process measures include monitoring the insertion of central venous

catheters, administration of antimicrobial prophylaxis to reduce

surgical site infections, and increasing influenza vaccination coverage

in healthcare workers and patients. Outcome measures should focus on the

two most common infections: bloodstream infections and surgical site



When asked about additional resources that may be required for

healthcare facilities to undertake public reporting, Patrick J. Brennan,

MD, Chair of HICPAC, responded, We didnt specifically address

resources, but it is an important issue. We do mention the necessity for

ensuring adequate resources ­ we may need more infection control

professionals and more information technology resources in order to

accomplish this.


APIC, a partner in the creation of this guidance document, has pledged

continued support for the recommendations and for the concept of public

reporting. As a result of the consensus reached at its recent

conference, APIC will be working with fellow stakeholder organizations

to create a national standard for mandatory public reporting.  


To view the HICPAC document in its entirety, please go to


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 mission through

education, research, collaboration, practice, and credentialing.


 Source: APIC