Online Program

Healthcare Quality Policies: Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections Through Law

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tara Ramanathan, JD, MPH, Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Healthcare-associated infections  (HAIs) occur during the course of healthcare delivery, affecting 1 in 20 patients in U.S. hospitals. While infection control laws have helped state health departments respond to HAI outbreaks for decades, widespread recognition that HAIs are preventable has led states to exercise additional authorities in the last decade to stop HAIs from occurring.  These "state HAI laws" create prevention programs, incentivize public and private engagement in prevention activities, and allow public health entities to collect and analyze HAI data from healthcare facilities.  By both preventing and responding to HAI incidence, state laws create a holistic approach to promoting healthcare quality and improving public health outcomes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners in the field have studied the effects of state HAI laws on the environment surrounding prevention activities among state health departments, healthcare facilities and providers, and the public since 2010.  This presentation will describe the public health burden of HAIs and highlight a 50-state assessment of state HAI laws, including statutory and regulatory mechanisms that address prevention.  Based on data his presentation will select examples from state laws that: provide incentives to improve the quality of care; mechanisms for reporting across infections; and provide consequences for failures to ensure quality healthcare among providers and facilities.  Finally, the discussion will relate state HAI laws to emerging issues in healthcare quality, including drug resistant organisms and antimicrobial stewardship.

This is a draft abstract; if accepted for presentation, the content must be cleared through through CDC channels prior to publication.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify key legal drivers addressing healthcare-associated infections. Differentiate legal mechanisms to address healthcare-associated infections, including incentivizing prevention, instituting reporting pathways, and permitting liability for violations. Describe the impact of law on healthcare-associated infection rates.

Keyword(s): Law

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary researcher responsible for this body of work in the Public Health Law Program and have authored several reports and articles related to this topic over the last 5 years.
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.

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