Infection control programs are proactive methods of risk management to ensure quality outcomes through processes that provide and enforce policies and procedures for prevention and mitigation of risk to exposure (Kavaler & Alexander, 2014). “Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) affect nearly 2 million patients each year and contribute to nearly 100,000 deaths (Warye & Granto, 2009, p87). The financial burden can be as significant as the morbidity and mortality and consequently places infection control as one of the top risk management program needs in hospitals across nation (Bender et al., 2015). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC (2014)] recognizes current evidence based guidelines for hospitals and other health care facilities in monitoring and mitigating infection control. The purpose of this paper is to recount the risk management needs and the existing infection control program of UCMC a large teaching hospital in Ohio. As described by TJ, an employee of the hospital, the writer will discuss the facility’s general infection control plan, specifics for standard precautions, medical equipment cleaning and hand hygiene as well as monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness of the program.
Infection Control Risk Management Strategies
In 2008, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented guidance prohibiting the payment of hospital-acquired conditions including certain surgical site infections, urinary catheter infections and vascular catheter infections. This significant change in reimbursement along with requirements outlined in The Joint Commission [TJC, (2010)] standards IC.01.03.01, mandating hospitals to identify risks and prevent infectio...
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...hand hygiene patterns. Per TJ, the HAI rates improved significantly after the installation of this system.
WHO (2004) describes an infection control program as the basic measures needed to prevent or control the spread of infectious disease. Wayre & Granato (2009) emphasize the equal responsibilities of all healthcare employees for an effective infection control program. UCMC shares this philosophy as indicated through discussion with employee TJ. The hospital has a comprehensive infection control program meeting the standards set forth by TJC (2009) including a formal infection control committee, policies and procedures and monitoring for effectiveness. Specific areas such as standard precautions, medical equipment cleaning and hand hygiene are just three of the areas that demonstrate the commitment of the hospital to improve healthcare quality.
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