Alaska’s HAI Program

May 1, 2010

Alaska Senate Joint Resolution No. 19 (2006) created a task force to assess the public reporting of HAIs in Alaska.  The resolution noted that the state does not expressly require reporting of HAIs except as part of a risk management program.  The task force duties were to conduct a review of the public experience with reporting of HAI data, order develop a white paper to be used for drafting legislation for the reporting of HAIs, and to address unique health care challenges in the state.  The white paper was due to be delivered to the legislature by January 31, 2007, however there is no evidence of such.  Pursuant to the resolution, the task force was to be terminated on February 1, 2007.

Alaska does not have a state law requiring HAI reporting by its healthcare facilities.  Two HAI-related bills were introduced in previous legislative sessions that would have required reporting by Alaska healthcare facilities to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (AKDHSS).   Neither bill passed however.

In response to the HHS Action Plan, Alaska created its HAI state plan.  To develop the plan, Alaska formed a multidisciplinary group called the Alaska Infection Control and Prevention Advisory Council (AK-ICPAC) on November 23, 2009.  AK-ICPAC has chosen two HAI measures as its prevention targets: Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) (monitored in adult critical care units and house-wide), and MRSA.

Since the state does not have a state law mandating reporting, Alaska’s state plan will rely on voluntary reporting by healthcare facilities. The State Plan notes that if hospitals are unwilling to voluntarily participate, mandatory HAI reporting may be taken into consideration.

Collection of the data by the AKDHHS will be authorized under administrative rules pertaining to reportable infectious diseases. Due to particular rural limitations and associated difficulties in implementing the surveillance program, the state does not plan on utilizing the National Healthcare Safety Network. Instead, the data will be reported to the AKDHSS utilizing an electronic system.

The state plans on publicly releasing data, however details of the publication mechanism have not been provided.  The state plans on partnering with participating hospitals for analysis and publication efforts.

References:  Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.  Alaska healthcare associated infections plan (2009); Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Alaska launches a health care-associated infections prevention program.  State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin, no. 2, p. 1  (2010).

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: