Enhancing Capacity for the Massachusetts Healthcare Associated Infection Program

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)

Services: Training & Technical Assistance, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Emergency Preparedness and Response, Patient Safety, State and Local Public Health

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are among the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. In hospitals alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in 25 hospitalized patients develop an HAI, resulting in approximately 722,000 infections and 75,000 deaths in 2011. Widespread attention from the public, the healthcare industry, state and federal policymakers has resulted in greater emphasis on improving the quality and safety of healthcare including initiatives to address HAIs.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has established a comprehensive program for statewide prevention with activities for surveillance and outbreak investigation, mandatory public reporting of specific HAI measures, support for collaborative learning, and the promotion of adherence to evidence-based preventive best practices. While much progress has been achieved in Massachusetts, it has become necessary to update the HAI program and refine goals that reflect the current HAI landscape including the need to ensure infection prevention preparedness.

JSI has been contracted to work with the MDPH to develop and execute a plan to strengthen infection control capacity and competency in Massachusetts hospitals, dialysis centers, and long-term care facilities. JSI will work with MDPH to update and expand their HAI plan, create an inventory of healthcare facilities to identify current infection control points of contact and regulatory oversight, investigate current HAI prevention and training requirements in Massachusetts healthcare facilities and conduct on-site infection prevention preparedness assessments in selected healthcare facilities.