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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,2002), there are an estimated 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and 99,000 associated deaths each year.  Applying CDCís national HAI rate, Alabama has the potential for 33,892 to 67,788 hospital-associated infections annually.  HAIs are also costly!  It is estimated that annually, $35.7 to $45 billion of direct healthcare costs to hospitals are attributable to HAIs (CDC, 2009).

Alabama's HAI Annual Report Released

Overview

On August 1, 2009, the Mike Denton Infection Reporting Act became law.  The Act makes provisions for: 

  • the reporting and collection of mandatory patient healthcare associated infection data by healthcare facilities.   
  • the designation of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) as the agency to collect, compile, and analyze patient infection data collected from Alabama Healthcare Facilities.  
  • the creation of a HAI Healthcare Data Advisory Council to assist ADPH with the development of the Alabama State HAI Action Plan, Alabama Reporting Prevention Program, and Rules and Regulations.
  • the development of public reports comparing healthcare facility patient infection rates.
  • the development of Alabama HAI Rules and Regulations to enforce compliance with the Act.

Rules and Regulations

The Rules and Regulations were released to stakeholders by the August 1, 2010 deadline, following approval by the State Committee of Public Health defined:

  • the list of healthcare facilities that must report HAI data.
  • what HAI data must be reported.
  • the method by which the HAI data must be reported.
  • how often the data must be reported.
  • the protection of and release of HAI data to the public.

The ADPH HAI Reporting and Prevention Program

The Mike Denton Act designates ADPH to collect, compile, and analyze HAI data collected from Alabama Healthcare facilities.  As a result of this designation, the ADPH applied for and received stimulus monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to begin the development of a state level HAI program for Alabama, which is now known as the ADPH HAI Reporting and Prevention Program.

The major goal of the ADPH HAI Reporting and Prevention Program is to establish a uniform method of HAI data collection, reporting and evaluation of HAIs by healthcare facilities.  The collection of HAI data by designated healthcare facilities in Alabama will:

  • provide greater awareness of HAIs in the state as compared to the nation.
  • allow for earlier identification of HAI trends.
  • promote adherence to strategies known to prevent HAIs.

The plan to meet the ADPH HAI Reporting and Prevention Program goals and produce the forecasted outcomes are detailed in the Alabama HAI Action Plan.  Waging War on HAIs details the National and State HAI Action Plans.

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