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Radiology Daily
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Heath Care-Associated Infections Considered Reportable Events in Some States

March 18, 2008
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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In some states such as Pennsylvania, health care-associated infections (HAIs)
must be reported to state officials, and a letter must be sent to the patient
informing him or her about the infection.

An item that appears on some lists of ‘never events’ (serious preventable
medical errors) developed by the National Quality Forum is HAIs. This is a big
issue in several states, including Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Pennsylvania
legislature passed Act 52, which requires health care facilities to report
HAIs to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Act 52 amends the Medical
Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act by requiring the
reporting of these HAIs.

Therefore, an infection that develops in a Pennsylvania inpatient must be
disclosed. The HAI must be treated. A letter must be sent to the patient
informing him or her about the HAI. This practice has prompted a lot of
feedback from patients. Now patients are looking to the health care provider
to treat the infection and reimburse them for costs incurred with the
infection. In addition, insurance companies are jumping on the bandwagon and
not paying for treatment of these types of infections.

In Pennsylvania, the HAI situations that we have encountered have been very
diverse. Perhaps the infection that has surprised the most people is that of
Clostridium difficile, which is a gastrointestinal infection. Much work has
been done with indicators and markers to make sure that patients do not
receive excessive amounts of antibiotics, which may have been administered in
previous eras.

Despite research and new antibiotic treatment regimens, we are still seeing
large numbers of Clostridium difficile cases. Most of these infections are
readily treatable, but on occasion, they may result in a patient needing a
colectomy. Therefore, we have been focusing on minimizing Clostridium
difficile infections in addition to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) infections.

Reference:
Kathleen Hale, RN, BSN, MHSA, and Richard P. Kidwell, JD Never Events:
Health-Care Associated Infections – Part 1.

In some states such as Pennsylvania, health care-associated infections (HAIs) must be reported to state officials, and a letter must be sent to the patient informing him or her about the infection. An item that appears on some lists of 'never events' (serious preventable medical errors) developed by the National Quality Forum is HAIs. This is a big issue in several states, including Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 52, which requires health care facilities to report HAIs to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Act 52 amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act by requiring the reporting of these HAIs. Therefore, an infection that develops in a Pennsylvania inpatient must be disclosed. The HAI must be treated. A letter must be sent to the patient informing him or her about the HAI. This practice has prompted a lot of feedback from patients. Now patients are looking to the health care provider to treat the infection and reimburse them for costs incurred with the infection. In addition, insurance companies are jumping on the bandwagon and not paying for treatment of these types of infections. In Pennsylvania, the HAI situations that we have encountered have been very diverse. Perhaps the infection that has surprised the most people is that of Clostridium difficile, which is a gastrointestinal infection. Much work has been done with indicators and markers to make sure that patients do not receive excessive amounts of antibiotics, which may have been administered in previous eras. Despite research and new antibiotic treatment regimens, we are still seeing large numbers of Clostridium difficile cases. Most of these infections are readily treatable, but on occasion, they may result in a patient needing a colectomy. Therefore, we have been focusing on minimizing Clostridium difficile infections in addition to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Reference: Kathleen Hale, RN, BSN, MHSA, and Richard P. Kidwell, JD Never Events: Health-Care Associated Infections - Part 1. [text_ad]
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