The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) receives healthcare-associated infection (HAI) and associated data from Virginia healthcare facilities through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a surveillance system maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDH epidemiologists quality assure the data, send feedback reports to facilities, and provide technical support to facilities on the use of NHSN.
In Virginia, central line-associated bloodstream infection data from acute care hospitals have been shared with VDH since July 2008. In September 2015, the Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control were updated to align state HAI reporting requirements with those of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. The surveillance data from acute care hospitals are summarized in an annual report, beginning with 2015 data. For more information on hospital HAI data and to view the reports, see the HAI Annual Report page.
In February 2019, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 2425, which amended the Code of Virginia (§32.1-35.1) to expand statewide surveillance for HAIs to additional healthcare settings. Under this bill, facilities including outpatient hemodialysis facilities, long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs), and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) are required to share data with VDH. VDH reporting requirements will expand as CMS reporting requirements expand.
Infection data are reported publicly in aggregate to ensure that no individual patient can be identified. Annual reports are posted to the VDH website so that healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, patients, and other interested parties can view the information. Data are reported to VDH on a quarterly basis to align with CMS reporting deadlines. HAI data are received on a 5.5 month delay.
Data collected about HAIs give consumers access to information about healthcare facilities in their area and across the state. The information can help consumers ask physicians and hospital staff informed questions about infection control and prevention practices in the facility. In addition to infection data, consumers should consider many factors when choosing a healthcare facility, such as the experience of the facility staff and the advice of their physician, as well as the facility’s location and environment, patient services and support services.