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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
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.