Background: There is a critical need for comprehensive and effective healthcare- associated infection and antibiotic resistance (HAI/AR) programs in the United States. Since 2009, the CDC has funded and engaged public health, healthcare, academic, community, corporate, federal, and other stakeholders to develop effective HAI programs that rely upon such these stakeholders for success. State and local public health programs play a central role in these programs because they bridge healthcare and the community. They may regulate and assess facilities, collect and validate data on infections, and implement prevention programs. Myriad other state, federal, and privately supported stakeholders play essential roles. CDC is developing a framework for highly effective state HAI/AR programs that describes core program elements and can be used as a strategic tool, both in day to day processes and in a public health crisis, such the COVID-19 response. Program elements may include engaged leaders and champions, reliable data for action, effective policies, evaluation, program innovation, communications, and partner networks. This presentation describes a success framework for developing and leveraging HAI/AR partner networks to achieve and sustain their capacities and impact.
Methods: CDC collected qualitative data in select states and combined with expert opinion to draft core elements for success among a network of partners working to achieve HAI/AR and COVID-19 response and prevention in states. The core elements serve as a foundation for the framework. Ongoing analyses will inform refinement of the core elements and framework. The CDC is gathering stakeholders’ input on the framework for applicability and usability in states, with the goal of national implementation. Results: Currently, data indicate the following core elements for partner networks: leadership, strategy and structure; policies; innovation and adaptability; implementation; expertise and resources; communications; and monitoring and evaluation. The framework includes a process for partner network development and sustenance, maturity levels, and supporting tools. States have reported support for core elements and agreed that a success framework is beneficial to achieving core elements. Multiple states have reported support for a process that includes building partner networks and clearly defining roles, as a critical step toward full implementation of Program core elements. Conclusions: A framework for building high-level strategy and competency in partner networks has never been developed for HAI/AR programs. Effective partner networks represent an essential core element of a comprehensive state HAI/AR program. This framework could be applied to a variety of programs and public health contexts, increasing the effectiveness of partner networks.