HHS appears to have pushed back its deadline for publishing a new infection-control plan.
A preliminary report on the action plan had been scheduled to appear in the Federal Register in late October. In an e-mail, an HHS spokeswoman confirmed that it has not yet been published for comment. We are still in the internal stages. In the next month or so we hope to have it published, she said. The department had been hoping to complete the plan before the next president takes over to provide a blueprint for future officials to follow.
The plans outline calls for five working groups to be led by various HHS agencies that will develop initiatives in areas the department has targeted for stronger surveillance efforts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, would lead a group that creates a list of processes hospitals should follow to prevent certain infections, while the CMS would oversee an incentive and oversight group to consider financial and nonfinancial methods of ensuring compliance with guidelines.
A final outreach group led by the Office of Public Health and Science would provide details of the national initiative for public release.
The hospital industry believes the infection-control action plan is a step in the right direction but by itself is not enough to motivate hospitals to reduce infection rates. -- by Jean DerGurahian and Jennifer Lubell