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Experts Support National Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Date:7/20/2009

problem," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health. "Patients have a right to know how well they are protected from healthcare-associated infections and this level of openness will encourage healthcare facilities to improve their outcomes."

The groups agreed that the public reporting provision found in HR 3200 is superior to approaches that have been put forth in other legislation. HR 3200 will establish a single national standard for HAI reporting, and it will ensure that public health scientists at CDC determine which infections are reported and how. By mandating reporting via CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, the bill will build on existing mechanisms and create the robust system we need to monitor, study, and ultimately prevent HAIs.

"Using CDC's network means that everyone will be looking for the same information in the same way," said Mark E. Rupp, MD, president of SHEA. "This approach for HAI reporting will be a more accurate way to compare local and national infection rates and trends. This will give us the science base we need to better prevent HAIs."

One element missing from the bill, the organizations noted, was the lack of a much-needed, strengthened federal approach to deal with antimicrobial resistant organisms.

"Overall, we applaud the approach taken on public reporting," said Anne Gershon, MD, FIDSA, president of IDSA. "However, we hope congressional leaders also will adopt new strategies to address drug-resistant pathogens, which are the cause of so many debilitating infections and patient deaths in healthcare facilities each year."

To address antimicrobial resistant organisms, the groups have urged Congress to amend HR 3200 to include the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act, H.R. 2400, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Jim Matheson (R-UT), which will build up
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SOURCE Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; Infectious Diseases Society of America; Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; Trust for America?s Health; Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
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