Healthcare-Associated Infections

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Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States, and the CDC estimates that one in 25 hospital patients is infected with at least one HAI. NACCHO connects with local health departments (LHDs), which serve as chief community health strategists, to advocate and promote the growing role of LHDs in HAI prevention and response and strengthen their capacity to prevent and control HAIs.

Antimicrobials such as antibiotics revolutionized healthcare worldwide, but their continued application and overuse have resulted in infectious microorganisms becoming resistant to treatment. This resistance is a growing threat to the public’s health, and LHDs protect their communities by collecting and analyzing data to identify outbreaks, investigating reportable diseases, coordinating communication among facilities, and containing the further spread of infections in community and healthcare settings.

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Addressing HAIs: The Role of Local Health Departments

Click play above to discover the critical role LHDs play in HAI prevention, control, & response.

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Addressing HAIs: The Role of Local Health Departments

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Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Toolkit for LHDS

Comprehensive resource guide for LHDs working to address healthcare-associated infections

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Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Toolkit for LHDS

NACCHO developed several tools and resources to help local health departments prevent and control HAIs, including:

In addition, NACCHO has the following policy statements to help guide local health department practice:

Name Date Description
Clinical and Public Health Partnerships for Antibiotic Stewardship 8/15/19 As conveners and chief health strategists in their communities, local health departments (LHDs) can be a valuable partner in supporting the adoption of antimicrobial stewardship practices in these and other settings. This webinar showcased a partnership between Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Speakers discussed how the partnership was established and maintained, how it has improved stewardship efforts, challenges and lessons learned, and recommendations for other local health departments and essential hospitals interested in pursuing a similar partnership.
Local Health Department Role in Containment of Novel Resistance 6/20/2019 As issues with drug resistant pathogens have emerged across the country, local health departments (LHDs) have been called on to lead and support the containment of novel or targeted multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). To explore this role, NACCHO hosted a webinar to share the experiences of three LHDs who have been affected by containment events.
Introduction to Social Network Analysis: Broad Overview and a Demonstration of a Novice’s Guide Using R Statnet 6/28/2018 NACCHO hosted a webinar on conducting social network analyses, including what they look like and how they can be applied. Webinar participants were also led through an explanation and live demonstration of a recently developed toolkit from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, A Novice’s Guide: Social Network Analysis Using R Statnet, which includes basic terminology and steps for conducting a social network analysis using free data analysis software.
Local Health Department Access to the National Healthcare Safety Network 1/24/2018 NACCHO hosted a webinar to discuss the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) —the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection (HAI) tracking system— and upcoming changes to data use agreements that may impact how local health departments can more easily access NHSN data. Speakers included CDC representatives, and staff from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, both of whom shared the process they used to gain access to NHSN data, lessons learned, strategies for success, and current and future uses for the data.

In an effort to highlight the role of NACCHO and local health departments in addressing issues related to healthcare-associated infections, NACCHO periodically develops feature articles. Check out the latest below:

The below stories were written by local health department staff to share their first-hand experiences addressing issues related to healthcare-associated infections:

The resources below have been developed by the NACCHO team to help your local health department prevent healthcare-associated infections.

Community Health Program

Michelle Cantu

Director, Infectious Disease and Immunization

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Community Health Program

Christina Baum

Senior Program Analyst, Infectious Diseases

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Community Health Program

Erin Laird

Program Analyst, Infectious Disease

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