Join us at 1 p.m. ET Thursday for a live Q&A on frequently asked coronavirus questions. Learn more.
AARP Alabama, April 22, 2010
Under a new law, Alabama hospitals and other health care facilities will be required to report infections their patients acquire to the state health department, a move that will hopefully lead to fewer infections.
The Mike Denton Infection Reporting Act (SB 89) was introduced by Sen. Bobby Denton, D, and was named in memory of his son. Mike Denton died in 2002 at age 42 of a staph infection that developed after a knee replacement. The bill was among those supported by AARP Alabama during the legislative session.
Under the new law, a program administered by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will require the reporting and collection of data on hospital-acquired patient infections and the submission of certain patient infection data by health care facilities.
Confidential patient medical records are protected from public disclosure, but comprehensive reports of patient infection rates from health care facilities around the state would be made public by the ADPH.
The bill also created the Health Care Data Advisory Council, which will assist the ADPH in the creation of Rules and regulations governing the implementation of the program.
For Denton, passage of the bill was a legislative and a personal victory.
“We were not aware that this was as prevalent as it is until the death of our son,” Denton said. After discovering that no laws tracked or monitored hospital infections, Denton began efforts to pass legislation.
“It took us four or five years to get it passed, but we pursued this project in memory of our son. We know that this will make a difference and will save a lot of lives,” Denton said.
According to some estimates, as many as 1.7 hospital-acquired infections may occur nationwide each year, and can be linked to as many as 100,000 deaths. With the passage of the Denton Reporting Act, Alabama joins 28 other states with reporting laws on the books, according to Consumers Union.
To learn more, visit www.stophospitalinfections.org.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
WW will help you build a customized weight loss plan
25% off the first healthy meal delivery of $99+.
Give or get help during the Coronavirus pandemic
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at