The SHEA Executive Committee submitted the following comment in response to a recent article, White House to Target Hospitals for Uneven Covid-19 Data Reporting (WSJ 9/2/20). 

The article captures some of the needless chaos and confusion that hospitals and their staffs face as they try to comply with abruptly changing demands on COVID-19 data collection. As infection prevention and control experts, we agree that accurate reporting of COVID-19 data is critical for resource allocation and rapid response to the pandemic.

But at a time of immense stress to the health system, conflicting reporting requirements and instructions from HHS are hindering progress, especially in the transition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s established tracking network to the new HHS system that has been plagued with problems. Threatening to punish hospitals for incomplete data submissions punishes those most in need of guidance--hospitals trying to comply with rapidly and constantly evolving guidance.

 

Mary K. Hayden, MD, president-elect, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Sharon B. Wright, MD, MPH, vice president, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
A. Rekha Murthy, MD, MPH, treasurer, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
David J. Weber, MD, MPH, secretary, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Hilary M. Babcock, MD, MPH, past-president, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America