Should the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Reporting Requirements of Act 52 in Pennsylvania be Adopted as a National Model?

Lauren D. Lubarsky, Jefferson School of Population Health

Capstone Project advisor: Susan DesHarnais, Ph.D., MPH, Thomas Jefferson University.


Background: This work identifies the critical elements of Pennsylvania’s Act 52 and assesses its possibility of becoming a national model for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) reporting.

Methods: Data sources are 1) a literature review, 2) interviews, and 3) a review of HAIs reports generated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), and the Patient Safety Authority (PSA). The 13 interviews were conducted to gather information and insight about the Act from those who are impacted by it at area hospitals. The interviews conducted were paramount to this work, as each interviewee was carefully selected to ensure a diverse sample and representative viewpoints of the stakeholders involved in the critical aspects of the Pennsylvania mandatory reporting requirements for HAIs. Individuals interviewed at the hospital level held positions such as Chief Medical Information Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Patient Safety Officer, Infection Preventionist, and Risk Manager, in addition to other roles at the PADOH, PHC4 and the PSA.

Conclusion: Act 52 is well known and thought to be a highly thorough statute that requires house-wide surveillance of HAIs. The data collected through the Act can be used for research and clinical improvement. Common themes were analyzed from the interviews to determine whether Act 52 should be recommended as a national model. Criteria were established to identify the needs for an adequate reporting system. My results indicate various modifications would be needed to make Act 52 a national model.