5 medical groups release new strategies for HAI prevention

Experts from five national medical groups partnered to revise infection prevention strategies in acute care settings, which were published July 11 in the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology

The updated strategies encourage clinicians to take facility, culture and communication styles into account when implementing prevention techniques and are not intended to be prescriptive, but rather a framework for concrete improvement. The guide emphasizes there is not one best way for organizations to establish best practices.

The strategies were reviewed by CDC experts and subsequently reviewed and approved by leading medical groups including the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

"There is no best way to implement a practice, but implementation need not be overly complex," said Joshua Schaffzin, MD, a pediatric infectious disease physician and a senior author of the revised recommendations. "This new section is a compilation of a number of options and practical tools you can use to find your best way to implement successfully. It's a way to take the Compendium from paper to bedside to improve practices for patient safety."

It includes seven key models for implementation methods as well as four guiding principles for teams to follow as they mold their own way forward:

  1. Engagement of key stakeholders, work partners and individuals to take ownership and support implementation of interventions and new strategies.
  2. Education for all to clearly underscore the importance of changing and adapting to new strategies.

  3. Execution of practices and infection prevention methods.

  4. Evaluation to guide if further change would be useful for better outcomes in the future.

The release of these updated strategies comes after data released in May by the Leapfrog Group called attention to a significant increase in the number of healthcare-associated infections nationwide within the last year.

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