Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Experts Update Guidance on Preventing HAIs

Magazine article Health Facilities Management

Experts Update Guidance on Preventing HAIs

Article excerpt

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Despite some progress in the prevention of health care-associated infections (HAIs), the issue remains a priority that requires continuous vigilance and best practices exercised by all health care staff, especially those on the front lines.

Top infection control experts stressed those points and more during a recent media briefing to discuss the "Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates." The compendium updates articles published in 2008.

Erik Dubberke, M.D., MSPH, professor of medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, and a lead author of "Strategies to Prevent Clostridium difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update" emphasized the need for a multidisciplinary response in fighting the bacteria.

"Health care is a team sport and this is especially true in the prevention of Clostridium difficile," Dubberke says.

"It's essential to have the environmental services (ES) or housekeeping personnel involved as part of this multidisciplinary team."

Dubberke says there are a variety of methods that have been developed to examine the adequacy of cleaning such as the use of checklists and fluorescent markers and adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence assays. He says the most effective method is to keep ES staff engaged in the infection prevention process.

"Regardless of the method used, the most successful interventions have been those in which ES is in charge of the process of designing how they're going to clean the rooms and monitor the cleaning as well as being accountable for the results," he says.

The article "Strategies to Prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] Transmission and Infection in Acute Care Hospitals:

2014 Update" stressed the

importance of compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization handhygiene recommendations to prevent the spread of MRSA.

Studies demonstrate that health care staff interacting with MRSA-colonized or infected patients often become contaminated with the organism, and surfaces and objects in the patient's environment quickly can become contaminated, too, the article states. …

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