HHS Stresses IT in Plan To Curb Health Care-Related Infections

On Thursday, HHS released a revised draft of its National Action Plan To Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections, which emphasizes the role of health IT in effectively monitoring HAIs, Modern Healthcare reports.

The plan states, "Advances in IT, harmonization of disparate data standards, incentive programs designed to promote the meaningful use of electronic health records and capabilities to connect with and integrate multiple data types and sources all provide opportunities to enhance national capacity to monitor, measure and prevent the occurrence of HAIs" (McKinney, Modern Healthcare, 4/19).

The plan notes that health IT could be leveraged to prevent HAIs by:

  • Better using computer-based detection algorithms and other data tools;
  • Enabling greater integration between IT systems for infection control, quality improvement and patient safety;
  • Improving data sharing on regional infection prevention efforts;
  • Promoting the exchange of data among multiple facilities so HAI information reflects entire episodes of care; and
  • Using clinical decision support tools in EHR systems to provide clinicians with HAI prevention reminders or guidelines.

HHS is accepting public comment on the action plan through June 19 (Goedert, Health Data Management, 4/19).

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