Infection Rate Transparency is Vital to Public Health

Today, the Trump Administration announced that hospitals can no longer report COVID-19 data through NHSN but must do so by other means. This new reporting will not be made public, in contrast to what the CDC does now for COVID data.

In response, ERIC, AARP, and The Leapfrog Group sent a letter this afternoon to Congressional leaders, signed by more than 160 individuals and companies across the country, asking that Congress require every health care facility in America to report rates of health care-acquired infections publicly through the CDC. Overcoming this pandemic requires a high level of transparency so facilities can recognize their own infection challenges, and patients and their loved ones can get critical information about their care.

Health care-acquired infections are estimated to kill 99,000 people a year in hospitals alone. The steps facilities must take to prevent infection are similar no matter what the infection, so having in place national reporting will ensure ongoing vigilance and accountability for COVID patients and all patients.

This proposed legislation does not necessarily affect whatever actions are taken by the administration to track COVID; it merely addresses the public fears and concerns about infections raised by the pandemic and the importance of public reporting of health care data.

To read the letter, click here.