Public Health Law Network Webinar Focuses on Healthcare-Associated Infection Laws

September 24, 2011

A recent webinar hosted by the Public Health Law Network (PHLN) provided an overview of state public reporting laws of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  The webinar was held this past week on September 22, 2011, however the replay of the webinar, as well as the accompanying slides, are available on the PHLN’s website.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections acquired by patients during the course of receiving medical care for some other condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HAI. Due to the increased morbidity, mortality and financial costs associated with these infections, HAIs have been recognized as an important public health problem.

The majority of U.S. states have responded to the problem of HAIs by enacting HAI public reporting laws. While the primary purpose of these laws has been to reduce the occurrence of HAIs by implementing infection prevention and control initiatives, the laws also promote healthcare facility transparency and accountability by including mandates for HAI data submission and release of that data in the form of reports or other information to the public.

In the webinar, Dr. Julie Reagan provided a current and comprehensive review of U.S. state and territorial HAI laws, presenting an overview of the laws and the most common legal provisions.  Rick Hogan, J.D., M.P.H., General Counsel of the Arkansas Department of Health, discussed Arkansas’ HAI law and provided a case example and overview of that state’s law.

To view the webinar, visit the PHLN’s Public Health Law Webinar Series and scroll down to “Past Webinars.”

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