Online Program

Multi-state evaluations of HAI laws: Understanding impact on prevention program implementation

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Brad Sperber, Center for Science and Public Policy, The Keystone Center, Washington, DC
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a serious patient safety concern. Growing demand for information by the public and consumer groups has led to an increase in federal efforts aimed at decreasing HAIs and the enactment of state HAI prevention laws. Although these state laws have common provisions, wide variation in their implementation may limit the generalizability of evaluations conducted within a single state. In this qualitative data study, consistent with socio-legal theory, we explored how HAI laws influence public health departments and other policy-makers in their efforts to implement HAI prevention programs. In total, over 90 in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted from varying stakeholders in states with and without mandatory reporting laws, seeking to assess the implementation of state HAI laws and the effects of particular legal provisions on state health department functions. The study found several themes that emerged in the form of success factors, best practices, recommendations, and “wish lists,” including the importance of sufficient alignment of policies and programs with other state and federal efforts, appropriate priorities and structures of the state program, balance between specificity and flexibility in crafting statutes, the need for accountability among key stakeholders, validation of data, training and education of providers and the public, and collaboration, communication, and leadership during the creation and implementation of the policy. The multi-state evaluations of these initiatives are useful to understand the barriers and facilitators of implementation, as well as the intended and unintended consequences of these policies, that will help to shape future state policy efforts.

Learning Areas:

Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze success factors, best practices, future needs, and challenges in the creation and implementation of state HAI policies and practices. Compare HAI programs across states with and without mandatory reporting polices. Evaluate how public health laws influence public health partnerships and their ability to reduce HAIs.

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have directed and facilitated dialogues on health, science, and social policy issues for approximately 15 years. I have brought groups together to use the best science and collaborative conflict resolution skills to develop sustainable solutions on contentious policy issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.