Methods: In Winter of 2018, we electronically surveyed IPs working in acute care hospitals. The survey was distributed by the Association of Professionals in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology (APIC) to its members via an initial email and weekly e-blasts over a 6-week period. Descriptive statistics were conducted and themes from open-ended questions were analyzed to describe IP perceptions of mandatory reporting.
Results: There were 255 IPs who completed the survey; 187 IPs provided responses in the mandatory reporting section. Half (53%) reported that mandatory reporting resulted in more influence of the IPC department on hospital decision making and 38% reported increased visibility. The most important benefit of mandatory reporting was increased awareness of IPC for hospital administrators (42%), followed by transparency of outcomes for patients and providers (28%). However, a third of IPs reported less time for staff education and routine IPC activities. IPs also reported an increased workload and lack of action based on the results of the reports as drawbacks of reporting mandates.
Conclusion: According to IPs, mandatory reporting has resulted in increased visibility and awareness of IPC in acute care hospitals, however, some drawbacks were also identified. Given CMS and state mandates for HAI reporting, policy makers need to be attuned to additional demands placed on hospitals to comply with mandatory reporting processes. Future research should aim to examine whether IPC departments have sufficient resources to comply with these regulatory policies and ways in which to improve the reporting process.