Infection Control Today: As HAIs Rise, New Methods of Counterattack Sought

Author: Debra Hagberg, MT (ASCP), CIC

Categories: Articles & Healthcare October 15, 2021

Infection Control Today recently published an article entitled As HAIs Rise, New Methods of Counterattack Sought, which discusses how even the most rigorous infection prevention protocols come unraveled if compliance isn’t maintained. For busy health care professionals, the challenge is remembering when and how to disinfect is just one of many competing tasks in an extremely busy day.

Excerpt from the article:

“Delivering quality care to patients is something millions of health care professionals—including nurses, infection preventionists (IPs), and environmental service (EVS) team members—aim to do in over 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new long-term threat for hospitals to navigate. In addition, it has also triggered an uptick in other serious infections.

A recent study in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology states that 2020 saw an increase in healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) due to the rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Infections including central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated events (VAE), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia have all grown during the pandemic.

“This information emphasizes the importance of building stronger, deeper, and broader infection control resources throughout health care that will not only improve our ability to protect patients in future pandemics but will also improve patient care every day,” Arjun Srinivasan, MD, the associate director of healthcare-associated infection prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tells Fierce Healthcare.

Overwhelming patient numbers, staff shortages, and lack of resources were (and continue to be) just some of the factors that put a strain on safety and compliance protocols within health care facilities during the peak of the pandemic. With hospitals at full capacity, health care providers were focused on treating patients and did not always have the ability, resources, or time to ensure thorough and proper cleaning was performed.

Read the article