Delaware Hospital Infections Disclosure Act
Infections that patients acquire while they are being treated in hospitals and in other health care facilities are a major public health problem in the United States. These "healthcare acquired infections" (HAIs), sometimes called healthcare associated infections, can be very serious. They can increase both the cost and length of your hospital stay and may even result in death.
This Web page is meant to help you:
- Understand more about HAIs
- Learn about infection rates in Delaware hospitals
- Learn what you, as a patient, can do to lower your risk for an HAI.
Delaware requires public disclosure of Hospital Acquired Infections
In 2007, the Delaware General Assembly passed the Hospital Infections Disclosure Act. Healthcare associated infections occur in health care facilities other than hospitals. However, this Act applies to hospitals and correctional facilities only. Delaware requires hospitals and correctional facilities to report certain HAI rates to Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) quarterly thru the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). DHSS must make these reports available to the public.
The first public report issued by the Department will cover an entire calendar year and will be due no later than June 30, 2009. After this initially annual public report the Department will issue quarterly public reports.
Regulations for reporting of hospital acquired infections in Delaware were added to the Regulations for the Control of Communicable and Other Disease Conditions under Section 7.6.
Hospitals are to submit their data to DHSS through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data system.
Disclaimer: The intent of this report is not to compare HAI’s between Delaware hospitals. Remember, some patients have conditions that make them more likely to get infections. A patient’s age, underlying diseases, and level of illness all affect their risk for infection. So hospitals that treat patients with greater risk of infection would be expected to have higher rates. When the first HAI annual report is issued in June 2009, it will compare Delaware HAI rates to the national rates published by CDC’s NHSN program.
Remember, no single source of information can be used to determine overall quality of care in a hospital. A facility’s experience with HAIs is only one thing to consider when choosing a hospital. You should also consider the advice of your physician and the experience of the facilities and surgeons. Individual health factors should be considered as well.
See Delaware Hospital Associated Infection Reporting Data: 2008 for the complete report.
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