New 'playbooks' aim to help facilities better prepare for disease outbreaks

Needless to say, the onset of COVID-19 came without a clear road map for the medical profession to follow while navigating it. It's in light of this that the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology launched a series of playbooks designed to help guide healthcare facilities through infectious disease threats.

Through research and analysis, understanding what can be done better next time has been core to advancing the medical profession's response, putting the pandemic's early chaotic days behind. 

"We do not want to repeat the experience of COVID-19, where IPs lacked a set of standard instructions and had to search through numerous websites on a daily basis to find guidance," Patricia Jackson, BSN, RN, president of APIC, said in a press statement. "It's critical that we use what we learned during COVID-19 to improve infectious disease outbreak response to protect the patients and staff in our nation's healthcare facilities."

The playbooks can be downloaded and customized to tailor it to specific needs of a healthcare facility. Each guide focuses on a specific pathogen ranging from invasive strep A to polio, draws from infectious disease professionals' expertise, and outlines recommendations for "pathogen identification, prevention of transmission, safe work practices, considerations for providing patient care, patient discharge, occupational health, and outreach to healthcare stakeholders." 

Future guides are being developed and tailored to specifics for Candida auris, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus — all of which have emerged as concerning threats at different points in the last year.

The APIC hopes the guides will allow facilities to "mobilize more quickly when faced with a novel, unidentified threat."


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