A Broader Look At Infection Control In Healthcare Settings

Much of our focus in the year 2020 has been on preventing the spread of COVID-19, but the risks of infection and the need for infection control are not new. In healthcare settings we are continually challenged with preventing the spread of common organisms that cause disease and result in costly Healthcare-Acquired Infections (HAIs), such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Clostridium difficile, often called C. diff., E. coli, as well as viruses causing flu, pneumonia and COVID-19.

The Staggering Impact of HAIs
The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 25 hospitalized patients will get an infection contracted while in a healthcare facility and an estimated 75,000 patient deaths annually are a result of these infections1. These infections carry an astounding price tag of over $9.8 billion to treat2.

Who’s At Risk
HAI prevention is not a challenge exclusive to hospitals. It is a focus in Long Term Care (LTC) facilities, outpatient centers, medical offices and home-care settings. Estimates on the number of infections acquired in LTC facilities annually range from 1.13- 3.83 million3. Individuals most at risk for developing a Healthcare-Acquired Infection are those with chronic illnesses, immunocompromised, the very young and the elderly.

What’s Being Done About It
To curb the number of infections in the LTC setting the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has mandated that facilities have at least one designated Infection Preventionist on staff. The role of the Infection Preventionist will be to oversee the development, monitoring and revision of the facility infection control program, infection surveillance, outbreak management, monitor antibiotic use, as well as employee infection control practices such as handwashing.

How You Can Help
The past 6 months of living with a pandemic have increased awareness of measures to control the spread of infection and disease. Basic infection control practices that are effective in controlling the spread of disease and infection should be incorporated into our daily routines, including:

  • frequent hand hygiene (hand washing or hand sanitization when appropriate)
  • use of personal protective equipment (masks, gowns or gloves)
  • disinfection of frequently used surfaces
  • maintaining safe distances for one another

How We Can Help You
Basic infection control measures require products such as hand soaps, hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants that will help prevent the spread of disease. It is important to choose products that are effective on a wide range of organisms, to minimize the transmission of disease.

DermaRite has a broad selection of infection control products to help you reduce the transmission of disease. You can explore the entire Infection Prevention & Control (IPAC) at dermarite.com/ipac.

References:

  1. https://apic.org/monthly_alerts/who-are-infection-preventionists/
  2. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/study-estimates-costs-hais
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/pdfs/training/2019/ltcf/infection-surv-ltc-508.pdf
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/
  5. https://www.provista.com/blog/blog-listing/infection-preventionist-mandate-for-ltc-takeseffect
  6. https://www.sepsis.org/sepsisand/healthcare-acquiredinfections/#:~:text=Technically%2C%20any%20type%20of%20infection%20caught%20in%20a,di fficile%2C%20often%20called%20C.%20difficile%20or%20C.%20diff
Posted in Clinical Insights Newsletter