Infection Control

The public, oversight bodies, payers and elected officials are forcefully articulating their expectations that America's health care providers increase their efforts to combat the spread of infections during the course of care.

Hospitals engage in numerous initiatives to improve infection control and provide safer care to their patients, but in the never-ending fight against increasingly virulent organisms, hospitals are looking for more effective ways to protect patients from infections.

Many knowledgeable and well-meaning organizations have offered advice and scientifically based practice guidelines that could support infection reduction efforts; however, the vast amount of information can be overwhelming.

This guidance, given by different organizations offering a dizzying array of instructions on what health care providers should do, often fails to provide insights into how to ensure the right steps are performed each and every time.

To rectify this potential confusion, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, The Joint Commission and the AHA partnered to develop a set of recommendations that addresses six of the potentially most dangerous infections that occur in hospitals. They are: surgical site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, central line-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridum Dificille.

The Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals pulls together best practices and performance measures to help hospitals better target resources to reduce infections.

For more on hospitals' and health systems' work to combat infections, please visit our Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) or our Hospital Improvement Innovation Network.

 

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