Background: Currently, most US states have adopted legislation requiring hospitals to submit health care–associated infection (HAI) data. We evaluated the perceived impact of state HAI laws on infection prevention and control (IPC) departments. Methods: A web-based survey of a national sample of all non-veteran hospitals enrolled in the National Healthcare Safety Network was conducted in fall 2011. Variations in IPC department resources and characteristics in states with and without laws were compared by use of χ², Mann-Whitney (Wilcoxon), and Student t tests. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify increases or decreases, versus no change, in perceived resources, time, influence, and visibility of the IPC department in states with and without HAI laws. Results: Overall, 1,036 IPC departments provided complete data (30% response rate); 755 (73%) were located in states with laws. Respondents in states with reporting laws were more likely to report less time for routine IPC activities (odds ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.31) and less visibility of the IPC department (odds ratio, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.58) than respondents in states without laws, after controlling for geographic region, setting, and the presence of a hospital epidemiologist. Conclusions: Respondents in states with laws reported negative effects on their IPC department, beyond what was required by federal mandates. Further research should examine resources necessary to comply with state HAI laws and evaluate unintended consequences of state HAI laws.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases
- Health care–associated infections
- Mandatory reporting
- Public reporting