GAO: HHS agencies need to collaborate to fight HAIs

If they're to make any real progress in fighting hospital-associated infections, HHS agencies will need to work together more closely, according to the Government Accountability Office. GAO director for healthcare issues Cynthia Bascetta told Congress that while the various agencies with a stake in fighting HAIs--including CMS, the CDC and the AHRQ--"have a sense of urgency" about the problem, they're not working together closely. At present, they're largely limiting their collaboration to updating each other on their independent databases, she told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. According to a report the GAO released at the committee hearing, the agencies would do better if they created links across these databases--something that would allow all of the agencies involved to better understand where and how hospital infections are acquired.

To learn more about GAO's recommendations:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)
- read the GAO report (.pdf)

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