Make auditors also pay for their mistakes, doc group insists

Establishing a program for mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infections is a challenge for a number of states, according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislators.

The NCSL report, titled “Lessons from the Pioneers: Reporting Healthcare-Associated Infections,” looks at the steps taken by nine states in implementing their own mandatory reporting initiatives. The states examined are Alabama, Delaware, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Developing such programs can be difficult, and successful programs should include skilled staff and adequate funding, according to the report.

State lawmakers hope that increased transparency and reporting efforts will reduce the number of HAIs in the U.S. A 2002 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that HAIs caused 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths that year, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. The report is available for download from the NCSL website.