The Legal Landscape: HAI Public Reporting in the United States

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Clinical Laboratory Science


Since early 2000, there has been a “growing interest in the use of law as a tool to address” healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the U.S.1 All 50 states and two territories have HAI programs established within their public health agencies.2 Likewise, the majority of states have HAI public reporting laws.3-4 HAI data is being reported from hospitals in all 50 states, either voluntarily or under state or federal legal reporting mandates.5 Additionally, while the current national focus is on reporting HAIs in the patient population, requirements for reporting infections and illness in the healthcare worker population also exists. The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the federal and state-level legal environment applicable to HAI prevention in the context of the overall response to HAIs.