Feb 6, 2014
Data and Monitoring
Published in: Medical Care, v. 52, no. 2, suppl. 1, Feb. 2014, p. S25-S32
Posted on RAND.org on January 31, 2014
BACKGROUND: Historically, the ability to accurately track healthcare–associated infections (HAIs) was hindered due to a lack of coordination among data sources and shortcomings in individual data sources. OBJECTIVES: This paper presents the results of the evaluation of the HAI data and the monitoring component of the Action Plan, focusing on context (goals), inputs, and processes. RESEARCH DESIGN: We used the Content-Input-Process-Product framework, together with the HAI prevention system framework, to describe the transformative processes associated with data and monitoring efforts. RESULTS: Six HAI priority conditions in the 2009 Action Plan created a focus for the selection of goals and activities. Key Action Plan decisions included a phased-in data and monitoring approach, commitment to linking the selection of priority HAIs to highly visible national 5-year prevention targets, and the development of a comprehensive HAI database inventory. Remaining challenges relate to data validation, resources, and the opportunity to integrate electronic health and laboratory records with other provider data systems. CONCLUSIONS: The Action Plan's data and monitoring program has developed a sound infrastructure that builds upon technological advances and embodies a firm commitment to prioritization, coordination and alignment, accountability and incentives, stakeholder engagement, and an awareness of the need for predictable resources. With time, and adequate resources, it is likely that the investment in data-related infrastructure during the Action Plan's initial years will reap great rewards.