Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | A-Z Site Map | Divisions | About Us | Contacts

NC Department of Health and Human Services
NC Division of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Programs & Services

HAI Prevention in N.C.

State Plan for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Acknowledging the need for a coordinated, statewide response to HAI, in April 2008 the N.C. General Assembly established the Joint Study Committee on Hospital Infection Control and Disclosure. In 2009, the Committee recommended to the General Assembly that North Carolina implement a mandatory, state-operated, statewide HAI surveillance and reporting system operating within the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health (DPH). In early 2010, with funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), DPH established the statewide HAI Prevention Program and convened the North Carolina HAI Advisory Group as a forum to develop the North Carolina State Plan for Healthcare-Associated Infections.

The HAI Advisory Group has collaborated with the CDC to identify the most important components of the statewide response to HAIs. The product of this collaboration is a plan that focuses on the following four key areas:

  1. Establishment of state HAI program infrastructure;
  2. Surveillance and response;
  3. Prevention; and
  4. Evaluation and communication.

Supporting Documentation

HAI Program Infrastructure

  • HAI Advisory Group: Stakeholders from government, healthcare institutions, infection prevention organizations, healthcare quality organizations and the public. These stakeholders:
    • Directed the establishment of a plan for prevention of HAIs.
    • Serve as consultants to DPH in the implementation of HAI activities, including surveillance, reporting, education, and outbreak response.
  • N.C. Surveillance for Healthcare-Associated and Resistant Pathogens Patient Safety (SHARPPS) Program consisting of dedicated staff in the Communicable Disease Branch of the Epidemiology Section of DPH who:
    • Collect and report HAI data to the public.
    • Coordinate other state-level HAI prevention and planning activities.
    • Serve as resources on infection control practices
    • Respond to HAI outbreaks

back to top

Surveillance & Response

  • Surveillance for HAIs: Selected HAIs are reported to DPH via the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) External link, a surveillance system administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NHSN has become the gold standard for HAI surveillance and reporting in the U.S. Current surveillance and prevention efforts focus on:
  • HAI outbreak detection and response: For many years, local health departments and the state Communicable Disease Branch have played a lead role in investigating and responding to infectious disease outbreaks in long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings. DPH is providing training to local health departments and working with them to respond rapidly and appropriately.
  • Quarterly reports: In October 2012, DPH published the first quarterly HAI report, which describes the methods of HAI surveillance and reporting in North Carolina. The January 2013 Quarterly Report was the first report to include hospital-level data and covered CLABSI, CAUTI and SSI in acute-care hospitals across the state. (See HAI "Facts & Figures" for all N.C. HAI reports.)

back to top


  • Enhance compliance with HICPAC recommendations: The Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) External link is a federal advisory committee of infection control experts which issues recommendations on the prevention of HAIs. DPH works with partners to promote HICPAC guidelines through prevention collaboratives and direct outreach.
  • Promote HAI prevention collaboratives: Prevention collaboratives are groups of facilities engaged in an effort to reduce HAIs though specific prevention improvement projects. DPH works with partners to enroll N.C. healthcare settings in prevention collaboratives working to reduce HAIs.
  • Enhance compliance with state infection prevention rules: DPH works with partners to increase compliance with state rules regarding infection prevention in healthcare settings, including long-term care facilities.

back to top

Evaluation & Communication

  • Provide consumers access to useful healthcare quality measures: The N.C. HAI Prevention Program began producing statewide HAI quarterly reports in October 2012. The HAI Advisory Group provides guidance on which data are most useful to consumers and quality improvement programs.

back to top