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Establishing an evidence-based infection surveillance program for home care and hospice: A large Midwest health system's experience

Published:August 13, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2021.08.007

      Highlights

      • Evidence-based infection surveillance criteria used for Home Care and Hospice.
      • Surveillance criteria built directly into infection surveillance databases.
      • Less healthcare-associated infections identified among Home Care.
      • Fewer healthcare-associated urinary tract infections met criteria in Hospice.
      Home care and hospice are unique and rapidly growing healthcare settings. However, there is a lack of published findings related to evidence-based infection surveillance programs among these settings. Our health system hired a Home Care and Hospice Infection Preventionist to implement an infection surveillance program using evidence-based infection surveillance criteria appropriate for these settings, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) definitions for home health care and home hospice infections, National Healthcare Safety Network long-term care facility (LTCF) criteria, and McGeer criteria for LTCFs. These surveillance criteria were built into new surveillance databases for Home Care, Home Hospice, and inpatient Hospice House. Infection Prevention reported infections and trends to respective departments monthly and as needed in the event of any significant infections. For most infection types, there were less infections identified during January-April 2021 than for the same period in 2019-2020. Having Infection Prevention coordinate the Home Care and Hospice infection surveillance program will help establish reliable healthcare-associated infection baseline data and help identify the population at risk. Future enhancements to automatically identify infections among this patient population are planned once Home Care and Hospice begin using the health system's electronic medical record.

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      References

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