#GetMePPE COVID-19 Advocacy

SHEA is calling on President Trump to use the full authority afforded under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expand domestic production capacity of urgently needed personal protective equipment.

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If you have any questions about this advocacy initiative, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org

The Problem – Shortages and unpredictable supplies of PPE
Domestic and global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare facilities has surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, healthcare workers throughout the country have reported dire shortages of PPE, putting patients and frontline healthcare workers at risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 while care is being provided. When healthcare facilities are uncertain whether they will have enough PPE supplies to treat patients and protect healthcare workers, facilities are forced to implement austere policies for PPE distribution and utilization. Under these conditions, healthcare facilities are forced to fall back on crisis standards of care such as reusing PPE intended only for single- use, or using PPE not intended for medical use.

While manufacturers and distributors are maximizing available resources and efforts to get much needed PPE to all healthcare facilities, the lack of capacity to support the surge of demand has resulted in persistent systemic shortages, reuse of disposable PPE, and the inability to predict when replenishments will be received.  Since the onset of the pandemic, the lack of capacity is persistent and crisis standards of care are being normalized in healthcare facilities, even in those not actively involved in managing a surge of COVID-19 cases. Failure to provide adequate and predicable supplies in PPE puts healthcare workers and patients at higher risk of not just COVID-19, but any transmissible infection.

The Impact – Lack of PPE puts healthcare workers and patients at risk
Healthcare epidemiologists and infection preventionists responsible for developing and implementing protocols and training programs designed to prevent infections from occurring wherever healthcare is delivered are confronting chronic shortages and unpredictability of essential PPE supplies. The following is a list of PPE and materials for which shortages and unpredictable supplies are persistent:

  • N95 respirators
  • Surgical masks
  • Gowns
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Medical professionals’ time meant for preparing and responding to surge demand and patient care is reallocated to navigating breakdowns in the PPE supply chain, altering and re-altering policy around PPE use, retraining healthcare personnel in increasing tiers of crisis standard utilization all while hospitals handle fluctuating numbers of COVID-19 cases. Uncertainty persists with no promise of predictable supplies of PPE on the horizon.

The Solution – The Defense Production Act
It is imperative that PPE for healthcare workers is prioritized within the domestic supply chain during the pandemic and for a period beyond while screening for and treating COVID-19 cases is the standard of practice in every healthcare facility.  Having access to adequate and sustainable supplies of PPE is necessary for the delivery of all healthcare services, not just treating COVID-19 cases. SHEA’s mission is to prevent the transmission of preventable infections in all healthcare settings, of which PPE is a critical element for treating patients while mitigating transmission of infections.

SHEA is calling on President Trump to use the full authority afforded under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expand domestic production capacity of urgently needed PPE. The DPA enables the administration to require private businesses to prioritize government contracts and to manufacture critical materials and goods to effectively respond during a national emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This critical action is necessary for healthcare professionals to remain effective in their ability to prevent, detect and mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Meeting the demand for PPE is an immediate problem that requires a longer-term and sustainable solution like the DPA.

Take Action - #GetMePPE
SHEA is calling on all healthcare workers to contact their state and federal representatives to urge President Trump to use his authority under the DPA to expand domestic capacity for PPE production. Healthcare workers need a predictable, sustainable supply chain to deliver PPE throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

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Background

Antimicrobial resistance has become a worldwide problem. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people acquire an infection with bacteria that is resistant to one or more of antibiotics designed to treat such an infection. Of those, at least 23,000 people die as a direct result.

Antimicrobial resistance not only puts physical strain on patients, it puts enormous economical pressure on the healthcare system. Treatment for antimicrobial-resistant infections is a prolonged and costlier treatment, extended hospital stays, more doctor visits, and greater disability and death compared to those infections easily treated with antibiotics. Although it has been difficult to track the specific economic harms of antimicrobial resistance, some estimates suggest at least $20 billion of excess direct healthcare costs, with an additional $35 billion a year for lost productivity.

Overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Furthermore, the CDC states that at least 30 percent of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessary, 40-75 percent of antibiotics prescribed in nursing homes may be unnecessary or inappropriate, and 20-50 percent of all antibiotics in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are among the leading cause of preventable harm and death in the United States. One in 31 hospitalized patients has at least one HAI at any given time. Annually that means 687,000 patients will contract a HAI with nearly 72,000 dying as a result. An increasing number of these infections are untreatable due to resistance to our current arsenal of antibiotics. Without immediate intervention, antibiotic resistance can make minor infections become life-threatening and put our ability to perform surgical procedures at risk.


Where does SHEA stand?

Since before 1997, The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) has advocated for prioritizing preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance through a variety of evidence-based practice and clinical interventions. SHEA strongly believes that antibiotic stewardship programs are a key component in preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance in all healthcare facilities in the US and across the world. Antibiotic stewardship programs optimize antibiotic use to achieve the best clinical outcomes while minimizing adverse events and limiting selective pressures that drive the emergence of resistance and may also reduce excessive costs attributable to suboptimal antibiotic use.

SHEA supports robust investments in the research, development, and implementation of stewardship programs in all healthcare settings.  We are asking for $200 million for the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative in FY 2020, a 19 percent increase over FY 2019 funding levels. We are also seeking increases in investments in FY 2020 for the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Initiative, funded through efforts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). SHEA applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in finalizing a rule that requires all acute inpatient healthcare facilities to adopt antibiotic stewardship programs as a condition of participation.


What has SHEA done on this issue to date?

SHEA has and will continue to urge policymakers and interested stakeholders to support policies that incentivize the adoption of antibiotic stewardship programs across the U.S. and world. SHEA will also work with other stakeholders to further understand the benefits of antibiotic stewardship for hospital epidemiologists, infection preventionists, healthcare facilities and the patients they serve. To date SHEA has undertaken the following initiatives related to the antibiotic resistance:

  • Advocacy for robust federal funding that supports research in antibiotic stewardship and incentivizes the adoption of antibiotic stewardship program in every healthcare setting.

  • Committed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge. Pledge to lead several multi-year programs aimed at creating a standard of practice for appropriate antibiotic use in all inpatient and long-term care facilities in the U.S., with an acceleration in adoption of antibiotic stewardship practices in outpatient settings.

  • Advocated for finalizing a rule published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that revises the Conditions for Participation for acute inpatient hospitals by updating infection prevention requirements and mandating the adoption of antibiotic stewardship programs. 
  • Continue to create education and practice resources available for member use in addressing antimicrobial resistance and providing best practices for the prescription of antibiotics

  • Collaborate with the CDC Coalition, Coalition for Health Funding, Friends of AHRQ, Research!America, the Stakeholder Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance, and the 22 by 22 Campaign to advance our policy and funding priorities. 


What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will continue standing with others from the healthcare community to address antimicrobial resistance. SHEA will also monitor current legislation and regulative efforts in addressing this global problem. 


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #AntibioticResistance.


Time Line

September 2019
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized a rule that requires all acute inpatient healthcare facilities to adopt antibiotic stewardship programs as a condition of participation. Find SHEA's Press Release here.

August 2019
  • SHEA joins sign on letter, with other organizations, to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of STAAR Act
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
January 2019
October 2018
September 2018
June 2018
March 2018
February 2018
November 2017
January 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 114th Congress (S. 3176) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
November 2014
September 2014
June 2014
March 2014
June 2013
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 113th Congress (H.R. 2285) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)
April 2012
  • Policy Statement on Antimicrobial Stewardship by SHEA, IDSA, and PIDS published 

Other Resources

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

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Background

Beginning in 1997, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the Prevention Epicenters Program, which works to implement innovative strategies to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. The program works with a network of academic medical centers to address scientific questions through research regarding prevention of healthcare-associated infections, antibiotic resistance, microbiome health, and other healthcare-associated adverse events.

Of the many areas of study for each Epicenter, some of the noteworthy areas are: managing antibiotic stewardship, prevention of surgical site infections, minimizing risk of disease transmission when removing personal protective equipment, optimal cleaning of hospital environment, developing and testing methods for effective healthcare worker training, improve compliance with glove use and hand hygiene during patient care, MRSA colonization, and transmission of infections in households, and the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of C. Difficile.

The CDC awarded $26 million in grants in 2016 to support the Prevention Epicenters Program. This allowed for five additional academic medical centers to play a part in this patient safety effort.


Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America urges Congress to increase top-line funding for the CDC to ensure the ensure the sustainability of the Prevention Epicenters Program. These centers hold an integral role in research in best practices to prevent transmission of healthcare-associated infections and preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance. Funding for the Prevention Epicenters represents some of the most concentrated research funding dedicated to patient safety that will lead to the transformation of the delivery of healthcare saving money in the US healthcare system and improving outcomes for patients wherever healthcare is delivered.

SHEA supports the passage of S. 1944, the Public Health Funding Restoration Act. 


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”


Other resources

 

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

Printer friendly: For a printer friendly, PDF version of this fact sheet, click here.

Background

The Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund), the nation’s largest investment in preventative measures to protect public health, is a critical source of funding for programs. The purpose of the fund is to provide mandatory federal funding for public health and prevention programs that would work “upstream” to improve health and prevent disease.

The Prevention Fund is intended to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive, sustainable, and accountable approach to improving our country’s health outcomes through the most effective prevention and public health programs. Since its creation, the Prevention Fund has been instrumental in maintaining and increasing support for evidenced-based chronic disease programs funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since the inception of the Prevention Fund, it has seen dramatic cuts to originally enacted levels. Because the House and Senate can tap into the Prevention Fund, it has repeatedly been chipped away at by Congress or used by the Executive Branch to fund non-public health services. 


Why is this important?

The Prevention Fund is integral to many state public health that rely on federal funding for execution and sustainability. For example, all states rely on CDC’s Epidemiology and Lab Capacity program and funding for state healthcare-associated infection prevention programs which are supported through grants disbursed by the CDC. These funds provide assistance to public health departments to assess infection prevention practices and quality improvement initiatives, and to build capacity for surveillance, detection, and prevention of emerging infectious diseases.  The Prevention Fund also provides some funding for the Prevention Epicenters Program, another priority federal program for SHEA.

Importantly, for the CDC the Prevention Fund accounts for approximately 12 percent of its budget per year. Without this funding, the ability to directly support states and communities in addressing their most pressing health challenges, the prevention of infections and chronic illnesses, and investments in programs that are proven and effective would be crippled.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund is a critical investment in prevention and public health, and by statute, is meant “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs.”


Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America stands with the thousands of healthcare professionals and hundreds of healthcare organizations who support the Prevention Fund at the funding levels when originally enacted under the Affordable Care Act. SHEA opposes the use of the fund for initiatives that do not fall under the original intention of the fund and support its responsible use. SHEA also urges Congress and the White House to not pass legislation that would deauthorize or defund the Prevention Fund, as doing so would have devastating consequences for CDC’s annual budget and state public health departments by potentially eliminating the CDC Epidemiology and Lab Capacity program as well as state funding for healthcare-associated infection programs.

SHEA supports the passage of S.1944, The Public Health Funding Restoration Act. 


What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will work with and support our coalition partners led by Trust for America’s Health to advocate for restoring the fund to originally enacted funding levels and to ensure the fund is recognized as an important source of funding to sustain state and local public health departments during budget talks or any other proposed legislation that may come from the United States Congress. SHEA will also actively advocate for the Public Health Restoration Act, which will further the goal of ensuring all PPHF funds will be used for their original purpose and not be a blank check for the needs of other programs not related to preventative public health programs.


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”


Time Line

June 2019
May 2018
February 2018

Other Resources

 

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

Printer friendly: For a printer friendly, PDF version of this fact sheet, click here.

What is the NHSN?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is the largest and most widely used healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) tracking system to date. The NHSN provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data needed to identify problem areas, including information on antibiotic use and resistance, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate HAIs.

The NHSN is the vehicle the CDC uses to track central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), surgical site infections (SSI), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridioides Difficile infections.

The funding for the NHSN allows for the CDC to provide technical support to more than 22,000 healthcare facilities, which represents 65,000 users across the continuum of care.

For medical centers, NHSN gives healthcare facilities the ability to see their data in real-time and share that information with clinicians and facility leadership, as well as with other facilities (i.e. a multi-hospital system) and partners such as health departments or quality improvement organizations. CDC provides the standard national measures for HAIs as well as analytic tools that enable each facility to assess its progress and identify where additional efforts are needed.

For states and the nation at large, HAI trends are used to identify emerging problems and areas of concern that need intervention, and to measure progress in HAI reduction against national, state, and local prevention goals.


How is SHEA advocating for the NHSN?

SHEA actively advocates for federal investments in maintaining NHSN and improving healthcare facility participation. Robust funding will allow CDC to continue to collect and share aggregated data on national HAI rates, support assessment of antibiotic prescribing, and enhance prevention efforts by identifying healthcare facilities for improvement. This support will support investments in modernizing NHSN’s infrastructure, critical user support, and provide innovative HAI prevention approaches.


Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is requesting an increase in annual funding for NHSN to $22.75 million for FY 2020 and beyond.

SHEA has and will continue robust funding for NHSN and work with other stakeholders such as the CDC Coalition, Stakeholders Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance, and the Coalition for Health Funding to ensure NHSN continues to receive funding to aid epidemiologists, healthcare facilities and the patients they serve across the United States in tracking, preventing, and ultimately, eliminating healthcare-associated infections, along with receiving other needed data.


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”


Time Line

July 2019
April 2019
  • SHEA and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) provide testimony to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies on Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • PRESS RELEASE: NHSN helps track Higher C-section Infection Risk for Mothers on Medicaid
May 2016
January 2015
May 2014
March 2012

Resources

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

Printer friendly: For a printer friendly, PDF version of this fact sheet, click here.

Background

The Current Infrastructure

The United States’ public health data system relies on antiquated, fragmented, time consuming, and error prone processes—such as paper records, faxes, and phone calls—which impacts: quality, timeliness, and communication of public health responses, such as notification of an infectious disease outbreak. 

The current public health data infrastructure also lacks automation, security, interoperability, and a skilled workforce, which will successfully confront public health threats today and tomorrow. 

The Role of Modernization

By modernizing public health data infrastructure and public health surveillance (interactive system of government public health agencies), public health officials and policymakers will have access to larger, more accurate, and faster public health data yielded by secure, interoperable, and integrated systems. 

This modernization will allow for better decisions to be made and for officials and experts to get ahead of chronic, emerging, and urgent threats facing our state, local, tribal, and territorial communities.


Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) supports proposed legislation to modernize public health data, transmission and surveillance systems to save lives in our state, local, tribal, and territorial communities.

SHEA urges Congress to appropriate $1 billion over 10 years beginning in FY2020. SHEA believes these funds are needed to modernize state, local, tribal, and territorial public health data systems to ensure the safety of the greater public.


What is SHEA doing about this?

SHEA is working with coalition partners to urge congress to pass legislation which will advance these goals and support data modernization. SHEA is also encouraging members of Congress to appropriate funding in FY 2020 and beyond to move this effort forward and begin the important work of bringing public health data systems into the 21st century.


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #BetterDataBetterLives.


Currently Proposed Legislation 

 

If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

Printer friendly: For a printer friendly, PDF version of this fact sheet, click here.

Background

Each year in the United States more than two million people acquire a serious infection, which is resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat such an infection. As a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections, more than 23,000 people die each year in the United States.

Regarding cost to the U.S. economy, some estimates have ranged as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs. An additional estimate of $35 billion is charged to society for lost productivity.

The United States has an international commitment to combat antimicrobial resistance after the United Nations set this as a vision, which was reaffirmed in 2017 by the G20.

Even with these alarming statistics, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics continuous to drive antibiotic resistance. Up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. If not addressed, antibiotic resistance will result in many antibiotics becoming ineffective, which will jeopardize patients and make routine medical procedures too risky.


What is the STAAR ACT?

The Strategies to Address Antibiotic Resistance Act (the STAAR Act) takes a multi-faceted approach by strengthening existing federal infrastructure for surveillance, data collection, and research efforts. Particularly, it supports the important Prevention Epicenters, which provides richer opportunities to evaluate new and existing tools, strategies, and evidence-based interventions. Furthermore, the STAAR Act will facilitate public health research and assess surveillance strategies for health care settings.

The bill will also further the development and implementation of antibiotic stewardship initiatives, which help prescribers know when antibiotics are needed and what best treatment choices are for a patient. This initiative will help improve the use of the antibiotics and prevent the overuse or misuse of antibiotics.


Where does SHEA Stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) overwhelmingly endorses the STAAR Act. SHEA strongly believes this legislation will strengthen U.S. efforts to prevent and contain infectious diseases caused by antibiotic resistance while allowing the U.S. to be a leader in addressing antimicrobial resistance.

SHEA continues to urge members of congress to support the STAAR Act so the U.S. may have the necessary infrastructure to address the critical issue of antimicrobial resistance, which, in the end, will protect patients from life-threatening infections.


What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will continue to track the progress of this legislation and work with other stakeholders to encourage members of congress to stand behind this important piece of legislation. Now that the STAAR Act has reintroduced in the 116th Congress, SHEA strongly supports its advancement to be passed by both the Senate and the House and signed by the President so it may be made law.


How can I get involved? 

SHEA understand and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by emailing grassroots@shea-online.org. Tell your senator to join Senator Sherrod Brown in sponsoring the STAAR Act

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #ReachForTheSTAAR or #STAARAct.


Time Line

August 2019
  • SHEA signs open letter, with 20 other organizations, to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of STAAR Act
July 2019
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 116th Congress (S. 2304) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
March 2018
  • Infectious Diseases Experts Applaud Legislation to Address Antibiotic Resistance
February 2018
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 115th Congress (S. 2469) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • SHEA Signs onto open letter, with 39 other organizations, to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of STAAR Act
July 2016
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 114th Congress (S. 3176) in United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
June 2013
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 113th Congress (H.R. 2285) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)
May 2009
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 111th Congress (H.R. 2400) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)
September 2007
  • STAAR Act Introduced to 110th Congress (H.R. 3697) in United States House by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT-4)

Resources