Infection prevention needs assessment in Colorado hospitals: Rural and urban settings

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The purpose of our study was to conduct a needs assessment for infection prevention programs in both rural and urban hospitals in Colorado.


Infection control professionals (ICPs) from Colorado hospitals participated in an online survey on training, personnel, and experience; ICP time allocation; and types of surveillance. Responses were evaluated and compared based on hospital status (rural or urban). Additionally, rural ICPs participated in an interview about resources and training.


Surveys were received from 62 hospitals (77.5% response); 33 rural (75.0% response) and 29 urban (80.6% response). Fifty-two percent of rural ICPs reported multiple job responsibilities compared with 17.2% of urban ICPs. Median length of experience for rural ICPs was 4.0 years compared with 11.5 years for urban ICPs (P = .008). Fifty-one percent of rural ICPs reported no access to infectious disease physicians (0.0% urban) and 81.8% of rural hospitals reported no antimicrobial stewardship programs (31.0% urban). Through the interviews it was revealed that priorities for rural ICPs were training and communication.


Our study revealed numerous differences between infection prevention programs in rural versus urban hospitals. An infection prevention outreach program established in Colorado could potentially address the challenges faced by rural hospital infection prevention departments.

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