Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are preventable. Globally, laws aimed at reducing HAIs have been implemented. These laws exist at the federal and state levels within the USA. It is not known whether the state interventions are more effective than the federal incentives alone. The aims of this study were to explore the impact federal and state HAI laws have on state departments of health and hospital stakeholders in the USA and to explore similarities and differences in perceptions across states.
[Photo: Dr. Julie Reagan]
90 interviews were conducted with stakeholders from 12 states (six states with laws and six states without laws). We found an increase in state-level collaboration. The publicly reported data helped hospitals benchmark and focus leaders on HAI prevention. There were concerns about the publicly reported data (e.g., lack of validation and timeliness). Resource needs were also identified. No major differences were expressed by interviewees from states with and without laws.
While the study could not tease out the impact of specific interventions, increased collaboration between departments of health and their partners is occurring. Harmonization of HAI definitions and reporting between state and federal laws would minimize reporting burden. Continued monitoring of the progress of HAI prevention is needed.
“Impact of laws aimed at healthcare-associated infection reduction: a qualitative study,” was published in the BMJ Quality & Safety Journal.
Dr. Julie Reagan of Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health was one of the co-authors of the study led by Dr. Patricia Stone, School of Nursing, Center for Health Policy at Columbia University.