HHS OKs MI infection checklists

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections has ruled that hospitals in Michigan can keep using checklists to manage infection risks. The checklists, which are designed to make sure all appropriate procedures are performed, can cut the rate of catheter-related infections in ICUs, research suggests. HHS had demanded that the Michigan hospitals stop using the checklists, developed based on a Johns Hopkins University study, arguing that using them was unauthorized research activity. The hospitals pushed back hard, arguing that using them was a quality-improvement activity, not research. Now, HHS officials have come around to the hospitals' way of thinking. The agency is now rethinking how it applies its regulations to evidence-based quality improvement projects. Makes sense--why on earth would HHS discourage infection controls, particularly given that Medicare won't pay for some hospital-acquired infections?

To learn more about the HHS decision:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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