Notifiable Disease reporting of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) began January 1st 2013.
Georgia Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Program
GDPH HAI Web Links
What are HAIs?
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are infections that develop during or soon after medical treatment for a separate medical condition. HAIs can result from patients’ own bacteria, be associated with surgery or invasive medical devices, or be due to exposure to bacteria, viruses, fungi or spores transmitted from contaminated healthcare workers' hands, environmental surfaces, or medical equipment. Bacteria found in healthcare settings are often resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics, making HAIs more difficult to treat. Not only do these infections have a negative personal impact on patients and families, they are a major contributing component to the nation's increasing healthcare costs. The vision of the Georgia HAI Program is to eliminate HAIs for Georgia patients.
What is the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) doing about HAIs?
In 2007, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) met with stakeholders to determine how to monitor and reduce HAIs. Georgia's plan was to use the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance system, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to measure and follow HAI rates.
In October 2009, a limited amount of funding was made available to DPH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to draft the Georgia HAI Prevention Plan. The plan called for the establishment of the Georgia Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee (GHAIAC) to begin to implement the plan.
In 2010, ARRA funding was made available to the Georgia Emerging Infections Program (EIP), a collaboration between the CDC, DPH, and Emory University. This funding was provided to assist with enrolling Georgia's NHSN reporters, and to allow for special studies to help identify priorities and best practices for HAI surveillance and prevention efforts.
As of January 2013, the HAIs that are reportable to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services' (CMS) Quality Reporting Program have been added to the GDPH Notifiable Disease List. Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald announced the addition of these select HAIs to the Notifiable Disease list in letters dated July 31st, 2012, and October 29th, 2012. DPH HAI staff will receive data via the State of Georgia Users Group in NHSN. Georgia facilities that are required to report for CMS as part of the Quality Reporting Program are required to join and confer rights to the State of Georgia NHSN Users group by January 31, 2013, and no additional reporting efforts are required.