Patient Safety: HHS Has Taken Steps to Address Unsafe Injection Practices, but More Action Is Needed

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Data on the extent and cost of blood-borne pathogen outbreaks related to unsafe injection practices in ambulatory care settings are limited and likely underestimate the full extent of such outbreaks. An agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collects data on outbreaks identified by state and local health departments. These data show that from 2001 through 2011, there were at least 18 outbreaks of viral hepatitis associated with unsafe injection practices in ambulatory settings, such ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 13, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Data on the extent and cost of blood-borne pathogen outbreaks related to unsafe injection practices in ambulatory care settings are limited and likely underestimate the full extent of such outbreaks. An agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collects data on outbreaks identified by state and local health departments. These data show that from 2001 through 2011, there were at least 18 outbreaks of viral hepatitis associated with unsafe injection practices in ambulatory settings, such as physician offices or ambulatory surgical centers (ASC). CDC officials and others believe that the known outbreaks do not represent the full extent of such outbreaks for a number of reasons, such as infections often being difficult to detect and trace to specific health care facilities. Additionally, comprehensive data on the cost of blood-borne pathogen outbreaks to the health care system do not exist, but CDC and other officials believe these costs can be substantial for those affected. For example, individuals may face treatment costs and health departments may face costs for investigating and notifying patients of potential exposure to infection."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 13, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Patient Safety: HHS Has Taken Steps to Address Unsafe Injection Practices, but More Action Is Needed, report, July 13, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302364/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.