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AHA, APIC disagree over HHS's national infection-control info plan

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Modern Healthcare reports healthcare industry leaders are calling for more definition and action in HHS’ national infection-control plan needs, saying it needs to be more specific and use better measurement tools before it can become a true national blueprint for reducing several types of hospital-acquired infections.

American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) are in disagreement on how best to use the data that are collected through reduction efforts – whether to collect data on infections—through the CMS’ Hospital Compare Web site or the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The AHA wish to see the Hospital Compare Web site become the data platform for collecting and publicly reporting infection information. While APIC view the NHSN as the “gold standard” for data collection among epidemiologists. The primary function of the network is to assist in reducing infections, not public reporting. While transparency is important, mixing the two may lose the focus on prevention.

The two groups agree that some of the proposed steps in HHS’ action plan are too specific to certain types of organisms that cause infections—such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus—without encompassing a broader range of actions, such as hand hygiene, that reduce many different infections at once.

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