Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP)

About the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP)

Released: August 1, 2005

The Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) is part of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, in CDC’s Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. The mission of DHQP is to protect patients, protect healthcare personnel, and promote safety, quality, and value in the healthcare delivery system by providing national leadership for nine key areas:

  • Healthcare outcomes,
  • Outbreaks in healthcare settings,
  • Emerging antimicrobial-resistant infections,
  • Efficacy of new interventions for patient safety,
  • Clinical microbiology laboratory quality,
  • Water quality in healthcare settings,
  • Cost effectiveness of prevention interventions,
  • Promotion of implementation and evaluation of prevention interventions, and
  • Development of infection control guidelines and policies.

DHQP is organized into three main components: the Epidemiology and Laboratory Branch, the Prevention and Evaluation Branch, and the Healthcare Outcomes Branch.

The Epidemiology and Laboratory Branch (ELB) provides epidemiologic and laboratory assistance when investigating outbreaks of disease and other adverse events that occur in healthcare settings. ELB is a reference laboratory for U.S. hospitals and other healthcare facilities for the identification of staphylococci and their toxins, anaerobic bacteria, and enteric bacteria. ELB confirms and characterizes unusual antimicrobial resistance patterns and delineates the mechanism of resistance. ELB’s environmental microbiology team is developing optimum methods to detect and decontaminate healthcare surfaces and water that may be contaminated with Category A and B bacterial agents in a bioterrorism event. The epidemiology section responds to outbreaks of new or emerging infectious diseases and other adverse outcomes associated with the delivery of healthcare. Examples of such responses include the first-ever description of rabies transmission associated with organ transplantation, investigation of nationwide outbreaks associated with contaminated medications and devices, investigation of a nationwide epidemic of Clostridium difficile-associated disease, and responding to the emergence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outside healthcare facilities, including increasing rates of MRSA skin and soft tissue disease.

The Prevention and Evaluation Branch (PEB) develops and promotes the implementation of evidence-based guidelines, recommendations, and other interventions to prevent healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance, related adverse events, and medical errors; evaluates the effectiveness of novel and proven interventions for prevention of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance, related adverse events, and medical errors; and develops, disseminates, and evaluates training and other health communications tools designed to protect patients and healthcare personnel and to promote quality healthcare.

The Healthcare Outcomes Branch (HOB) conducts surveillance, research, and demonstration projects to measure the impact of healthcare-associated infections, adverse drug events, and other complications of healthcare. HOB staff work closely with healthcare practitioners and healthcare facilities and with partners in other federal agencies, accrediting bodies, and professional groups. A major initiative currently underway in HOB is the launch of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a web-based system for monitoring healthcare-associated adverse events. More than 300 U. S. hospitals are enrolled; many more are expected to participate when NHSN is fully operational.

Date last modified: August 1, 2005
Content source: 
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP)
National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases