Connecticut's Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Program
The Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Program part of the Infectious Disease Section of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH). Authorizing legislation in 2006 required the establishment of an HAI Program, a state HAI Advisory Committee, and annual HAI reports for the public. The HAI Program addresses the need for ready access to data on HAIs in healthcare facilities to guide prevention activities and to inform the public, while recognizing that HAI surveillance data are difficult to gather and often hard to interpret. The HAI Program achieves its goal by focusing on efficient HAI surveillance, disseminating best practices for prevention, and encouraging trust and transparency. The scope of the HAI Program includes a variety of infection types that are associated with healthcare procedures and devices (e.g., infections associated with central lines and surgical procedures), transmitted in healthcare facilities (e.g., Clostridium difficile, influenza), and increasingly with antimicrobial resistant micro-organisms. The HAI Program is distinct from healthcare facility inspections and regulation.
Planning/partnering – Planning and partnering are key activities of the HAI Program, and they complement the Program’s core mission: high quality surveillance to track progress in the prevention of HAIs. The Program is currently operating under an interim state HAI plan, and is finalizing a new plan that will align with the new Connecticut State Health Improvement Plan and the Department’s strategic plan. The Program works closely with a variety of stakeholders and partners in patient safety through the state HAI Advisory Committee. Key partners include the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA), Qualidigm, and the End Stage Renal Disease Network of New England.
Public Education Campaigns - These public education campaigns have helped raise awareness among the general public regarding proper use of antibiotics, flu shots, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
Surveillance and Public Reporting - The state HAI Advisory Committee makes mandated public reporting recommendations to the CTDPH. After the data are gathered, validated for accuracy, and analyzed, reports are publicized on the CTDPH website, listing each healthcare facility by name. Connecticut validates the accuracy of the data through periodic chart reviews.
Outbreaks and infection control breaches – The HAI Program partners with healthcare facilities and the CTDPH Bureau of Healthcare Quality & Safety in assessing and addressing these issues.
Emerging Infections Program (EIP) – The Connecticut HAI Program participates in the EIP network. Such enhanced surveillance projects include a national HAI point prevalence, and antimicrobial use and appropriateness survey in hospitals, a study on how to reduce the burden of surveillance data collection, and a pilot project on HAI surveillance feasibility in long term care facilities.
Prevention – The CTDPH works in collaboration with the CHA, and Qualidigm on statewide healthcare facility prevention programs, and educates professionals and the public about HAI prevention through the website, and personal technical assistance and training.
To contact the Healthcare Associated Infections Program, please call 860-509-7995.