Publication Title: 
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Publication Date: 
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Public reporting of healthcare-associated infections is pervasive, with 33 states and the District of Columbia mandating public disclosure. The authors surveyed hospital epidemiologists on the perceived value of state public reports. Respondents believed consumers are unaware and do not consider the information important, but they indicated that epidemiologists have a role in consumer education.

Ninety-three percent of respondents reported seeing their state’s healthcare-associated infection (HAI) public report or reporting web site, and 70 percent have used these reports in work with health care workers and administrators. Ninety-six percent of respondents believed hospital epidemiologists have a role in informing or training health care workers or administrators at their facility about the state’s HAI reports.

Additionally, a majority of hospital epidemiologists believe they have a role in informing or training consumers about their state’s HAI reports. When asked where consumers could go to learn about HAI rates, respondents cited official state reports, the Hospital Compare website, hospital personnel, physician or other healthcare professional , local news source, and the hospital’s web site. Regarding outreach, 91 percent of respondents said their hospital does not have a public awareness campaign to promote the availability of HAI information. The remaining 9 percent cited hospitals activities such as press releases, press conferences, blog, or patient information sheet.