Safety

Infection control improvements through better design and environment of care

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, January 1, 2018

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Editor’s note: This Q&A was taken from the 2016 American Society for Healthcare Engineering webinar, "Improving Infection Prevention and Control Through Facility Design." In a panel discussion, Dana Swenson, senior vice president at UMass Memorial Health Care; Barbara Edson, VP of clinical quality of health research for the American Hospital Association; Carolyn V. Gould, a medical epidemiologist in the division of healthcare quality promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; George Mills, former director of engineering for The Joint Commission; and Linda Dickey, director of epidemiology & infection prevention at UC Irvine Health, discuss the importance of considering good infection control in the design of healthcare facilities.

Q: What are the implications for hospitals to make sure that healthcare-associated infections are prevented?

Linda Dickey: The public and our payers and even those of us in healthcare now expect that most of healthcare-associated infections are preventable. We now have public reporting of healthcare-associated infections, we have payment tied to our outcomes related to healthcare-associated infections, and our regulators also expect to see measures in place, including the built environment. When they come in and they look at our healthcare facilities, we are making progress. This is information that is shared by the CDC. There’s also public reporting through CMS and through various states, so if you want to look at this information it’s free and on the CDC website, but it does show several of the infections that we report publicly and have good benchmarks for, and we are making progress in most of them—however, we still have a lot more to do.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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