The purpose of this Delaware Health Advisory from the Division of Public Health (DPH) is to inform the medical community of a relatively new requirement to report hospital acquired infections. Delaware regulations require that "Physicians, who perform a clinical procedure, shall report to the ICP [Infection Control Practitioner] of the hospital where the clinical procedure was performed any hospital-acquired infection that the physician diagnosed at a follow-up appointment with the patient."
Please note that because this information is required by Delaware law and utilized for public health purposes, providing it is not a violation of Federal HIPAA.
Delaware's Hospital Infections Disclosure Act of 2007 (Title 16 Chapter 10A) requires hospitals to report healthcare-acquired infections to the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) by using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). NHSN is an internet-based surveillance system that collects data from U.S. healthcare facilities. It provides facilities with risk-adjusted data that can be used for inter-facility comparisons and local quality improvement activities.
A Hospital Acquired Infection Advisory Committee was appointed by the Secretary of DHSS in 2007. The committee assisted DHSS in the development of regulations, reviewed the NHSN requirements, and selected the first medical procedure on which hospitals will be required to report. The Advisory Committee selected central line-associated bloodstream infections CLABSIs as the first procedure to be reported under the “Hospital Infections Disclosure Act.” Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health issued the first Annual Report for central line associated blood stream infections for Delaware's eight acute care hospitals in June 2009.
DPH Healthcare Associated Infection website: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/epi/haihomepage.html
Control of Communicable Disease Regulations: http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title16/4000/4200/4202.shtml
Delaware Hospital Associated Infection Reporting Data: 2008: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/files/hai_report_2008_final.pdf
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