Kevin Downey, Colorado Hospital Association
(720) 330-6019
kevin.downey@cha.com

Colorado Hospital Association Statement on 2012 State of Colorado Status Report on the Health Facility-Acquired Infections Disclosure Initiative

Date Jan. 24, 2012

Greenwood Village, Colo. (Jan. 24, 2012) — The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) believes it is
important to clarify recent media coverage of the 2012 State of Colorado Status Report on the Health Facility-Acquired Infections Disclosure Initiative. The status report was published on Jan. 14, 2012 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
 
CHA and its member hospitals have long supported the reporting of health facility-acquired infections to
CDPHE, which was mandated in 2006 by the passage of the Hospital-Acquired Infections Disclosure Act
(HB-06-1045). CHA actively supported this piece of legislation.
 
The legislation requires four different types of health care facilities (including hospitals) to report facilityacquired
infection rates as a condition of licensure. Since the enactment of this legislation, CHA and its member hospitals have made every effort to fully comply with its rules and regulations. This includes reporting facility-acquired infection data through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a national reporting system managed by the CDC. This reporting requirement began in July 2007.
 
Per the 2012 CDPHE report on health facility-acquired infections, “the NHSN is a complicated system with
challenging definitions.” That’s why individual hospital employees who collect and report infection rate data
must take the NHSN test to be nationally certified in infection control—a rigorous, intensive training program. It also requires such individuals to become certified in this area within six months of initial eligibility. (This requirement is legislatively exempted for hospitals with fewer than 50 beds.) Colorado hospital and health systems devote extensive time and personnel resources to this training, and fully comply with reporting HAI data based on current NHSN definitions.
 
CHA and its member hospitals welcome and encourage the use of the CDPHE Patient Safety Program’s
efforts to validate all facility-acquired infection data. We believe that increased consistency in data reporting
will ultimately lead to better, safer patient care in Colorado and reduced health care costs.
 
CHA applauds the work of the CDPHE hospital-acquired infection advisory committee, which over the years
has made significant improvements to the HAI reporting requirements, including improved methodologies
and additional procedure categories. This group’s efforts have undoubtedly helped enhance patient safety and
outcomes.
 
Reducing facility-acquired infection rates is a critical component of health care reform. Starting in FY 2014,
many payment determinations by Medicare will be based on meeting benchmarks for hospital infection
reduction and prevention.
 
CHA continues to fully support the public reporting of health facility-acquired infections. We believe such
efforts result in hospitals having an increased focus on infection prevention and control techniques. Quality
and patient safety are top priorities for Colorado hospitals, which are more transparent than ever before.
Public reporting of HAIs also can result in enhanced partnerships between patients and health care providers,
which can in turn result in improved patient safety.

About the Colorado Hospital Association
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 72,000 employees statewide.