Accreditation

The future of infection prevention

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, October 1, 2018

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Looking ahead to improve patient outcomes and decrease HAIs

Written by Lena Browning, MHA, BSN, RN

Healthcare organizations are feeling the repercussions of noncompliance when it comes to infection prevention. For several years now, the most cited clinical standard in hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory healthcare by The Joint Commission has been:

IC.02.02.01: The hospital reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies.

According to The Joint Commission, the most common reasons for noncompliance include:

  • Not following current, nationally accepted, evidence-based guidelines and manufacturers’ instructions for use
  • Orientation, training, and assessments of staff competency not conducted by an individual qualified to do so
  • Lack of quality assurance process
  • Lack of collaboration with infection prevention professionals
  • No pre-cleaning at point of use
  • Recordkeeping: Incomprehensible or non-standardized logs, incomplete documentation, and lack of bidirectional tracing of scopes and/or surgical instruments
  • Inconsistent processes in performing high-level disinfection and sterilization such as handling, transporting, and cleaning reusable instruments

As infection prevention challenges evolve—such as emerging infectious organisms and resistance—healthcare organizations must focus on preventing hospital-acquired infections and ensuring better patient outcomes. To achieve these goals, infection prevention professionals must be involved in all decisions affecting the delivery of patient care. Healthcare is ever-changing, and innovative approaches are critical as we look to the future of infection prevention.

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