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Georgia behind on infection control

May 1, 2013

ATLANTA — While Georgia health inspectors are vigilant about the cleanliness and safety of places like restaurants and public pools, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) have slipped under their radar, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Most states have been required to report cases of common but potentially deadly infections to their department of health; Georgia, however, was required to do so for the first time in January, the article stated.

According to the article, it isn't hard to see how behind the times Georgia is on the infection control front: Tennessee employs 10 people to battle hospital infections, while Georgia’s has one; Alabama requires public reporting of hospital infections and issues an annual report, while in Georgia, the state does not permit the public to see the data it is collecting.

"Our vision in Georgia is to be able to eliminate preventable HAIs. We have such a tremendous opportunity because they really are preventable," said Dr. Cherie Drenzek, Georgia's top epidemiologist.

Georgia's public health officials now have an ambitious plan for infection control, including identifying facilities that need to improve and finding ways to help them get there, the article noted.

They also want to push for more appropriate use of antibiotics, which is a key part of combating some infections, the article added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.