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
Brief video outlining the critical role LHDs play in HAI prevention, control, & response.
Addressing HAIs: The Role of Local Health Departments
NACCHO developed several tools and resources to help local health departments prevent and control HAIs, including:
- CDC Field Notes: Containing Multi-Drug-Resistant Organisms in a Long-Term Acute-Care Hospital — Learn how, in response to a novel “superbug” discovered at a long-term acute-care hospital, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County responded rapidly to contain the outbreak and create tools for future use.
- Press Release: CDC’s New Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report Shows Persistent Problem — Read NACCHO's response to the CDC's Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, 2019.
- Fact Sheet: NACCHO HAI Initiatives — Learn about NACCHO’s healthcare-associated infection projects and initiatives.
- Fact Sheet: Antimicrobial Resistance & Stewardship: Local Efforts on a Global Issue — Learn how NACCHO and its members are working to address antimicrobial resistance and promote antibiotic stewardship.
- Video: The Role of Local Health Departments in Combating Healthcare-Associated Infections — This engaging two-minute video offers an overview of the potential role(s) local health departments can play in addressing HAIs at the community level.
- Toolkit: Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Toolkit for Local Health Departments — Developed in coordination with demonstration sites from NACCHO’s Lessons in INfection Control (LINC) program, this toolkit provides local health departments with guidance, best practices, tools, and resources for expanding activities related to improving local infection control, preparedness, and response.
- Journal Article: Lessons in Infection Control: The Role of Local Health Departments in Prevention, Preparedness, and Response — Published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, this article summarizes the findings from NACCHO's LINC Initiative, which funded demonstration sites to enhance coordination in health care and community settings to improve infection control preparedness and response efforts across the nation.
- Journal Article: Local Health Department Engagement in Health Care–Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance Work— Published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, this article highlights results from NACCHO's Local Health Department Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antibiotic Stewardship Assessment.
In addition, NACCHO has the following policy statements to help guide local health department practice:
- Antimicrobial Stewardship and Antimicrobial Resistance
- National Healthcare Safety Network
- Influenza Vaccinations for Healthcare Personnel
- Increasing Federal, State, and Local Partnership in Addressing HAIs
- Enhancing the Capacity of Local Health Departments to Control Emerging Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms
|Antibiotic Stewardship and Sepsis: A Balancing Act||1/15/2020||Hosted in December 2019 by Sepsis Alliance, this webinar presented an overview of antibiotic stewardship and recent research regarding antibiotic treatments and sepsis care. Speakers discussed strategies to prevent antibiotic resistance and provide optimal care for sepsis patients; presented the latest CDC guidance and new research on antibiotic stewardship, and shared antibiotic stewardship program experience in hospital settings.|
|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:
- ELC Directly Funded Cities Share Resources for Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections
- Developing Regional Antibiograms to Monitor Resistance Patterns
- Containing an MDRO: Tools Developed During a Response
- Against Antimicrobial Resistance: A Local Commitment to Fighting a Global Threat
- Leveraging Local Knowledge and Expertise to Tackle Healthcare-Associated Infections
- Certification in Infection Control: Local Impact and Strategies for Success
- International Infection Prevention Week 2017: Local Approaches to Combating Antibiotic Resistance
- National Handwashing Week 2017: The Power of Preventative and Primary Intervention
- Blog Series: Antimicrobial Resistance & Global Health Security
The below stories were written by local health department staff to share their first-hand experiences addressing issues related to healthcare-associated infections:
- Florida Epidemiologists Combat HAIs by Becoming CIC® Certified — Florida Department of Health in Orange County
- Allegheny County Health Department Assesses Antibiotic Stewardship — Allegheny County (PA) Health Department
- The Evolving Role of Local Public Health in Promoting Safe Healthcare — Houston (TX) Health Department
The resources below have been developed by the NACCHO team to help your local health department prevent healthcare-associated infections.
Community Health Program
Senior Program Analyst, Infectious Diseases
Community Health Program
Senior Program Analyst, Infectious Disease