A collaborative study including Dr. Julie Reagan, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University, examines trends over time of state-mandated reporting of health care-associated infections in the United States. Over the past decade, most US states and territories began mandating that acute care hospitals report health care-associated infections (HAIs) to their departments of health. Trends in state HAI law enactment and data submission requirements were determined through systematic legal review; state HAI coordinators were contacted to confirm collected data. As of January 31, 2013, 37 US states and territories (71%) had adopted laws requiring HAI data submission, most of which were enacted and became effective in 2006 and 2007. Most states with HAI laws required reporting of central line-associated bloodstream infections in adult intensive care units (92%), and about half required reporting of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile infections (54% and 51%, respectively).
Overall, data submission requirements were found to vary across states. Considering the facility and state resources needed to comply with HAI reporting mandates, future studies should focus on whether these laws have had the desired impact of reducing infection rates.
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