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Am J Infect Control. 2008 Oct;36(8):537-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2008.01.015.

Public health law for the collection and reporting of health care-associated infections.

Author information

  • 1Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Antimicrobial Resistance, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. bmm2102@columbia.edu



State-based laws for reporting of health care-associated infections (HAI) have developed and changed dramatically in recent years, affecting the costs of reporting and impact on infection rates. It is necessary for practitioners of infection control to understand these changing legal frameworks and their application to practice.


Employing systematic state-based research, the researchers have documented legislation and administrative regulations for institution-specific HAI reporting, using this information to create a comprehensive resource on state-based laws for mandatory HAI reporting.


As of August 27, 2007, 24 states have adopted laws requiring reporting of HAI rates, with an additional 7 states currently considering legislation that would require HAI reporting and 19 states employing detailed regulation in the absence of any current legislative authorization specific to HAI. This study documents (1) which states require reporting of HAI and, if so, whether this is done by legislation or administrative regulation; (2) whether the specific HAIs to be reported are identified in state law or codified generally as "diseases of public health importance," with reporting specified by administrative regulation; and (3) what reporting policies and procedures are detailed in law.


Through analysis of the collected information, the researchers have examined the degree to which states have modernized their respective public health laws to approach mandatory reporting by way of general legislation regarding "matters of public health importance" and subsequent detailed administrative regulation to specify those matters.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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