Mandatory public reporting reduces healthcare infections in France

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A national program designed to increase transparency and reporting standards among healthcare facilities has led to a significant decrease in healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in France over the last six years, according to the results of a program review.

In 2004, France adopted new, mandatory standardized public reporting requirements for healthcare facilities. The initiative ties healthcare facility reimbursements to the results of the reports, which are compiled by national, regional and local surveillance organizations. Best and worst healthcare facility lists are made public each year. Researchers from the Ministry of Health & Sports (MoH) and Hospital Henri Mondor in Paris reviewed the reports submitted between 2005 and 2008 for their study. They presented the results Thursday at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections in Atlanta, GA.

Roughly 89% of France's healthcare facilities have reached the best performance class of HAI control under the new practices, according to researchers. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections have dropped 40% while use of alcohol-based hand hygiene products has increased 50%, the report shows. Though researchers acknowledge France's healthcare system is different than most other countries', they say the same type of national mandatory standardized HAI reporting scheme can be used in any healthcare system.