Infection prevention outside of the acute care setting: Results from the MegaSurvey of infection preventionists

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Abstract

Background:

In recent years, there has been a significant shift of health care delivery to nonacute care settings. However, research on staffing and resources dedicated to infection prevention and control (IPC) in these settings is lacking.

Methods:

The data for this analysis come from the 2015 APIC MegaSurvey. Descriptive statistics were computed to describe infection preventionists (IPs) employed in nonacute care settings. Bivariate analyses were conducted to examine differences in facility and demographic characteristics by type of nonacute care setting.

Results:

In total, 861 IPs represented ambulatory surgical centers (33%), long-term care facilities (23%), long-term acute care facilities (20%), inpatient behavioral or mental health care (12%), clinic or outpatient services (10%), and home health care (3%). Few (15%) were Certified in Infection Control. Most (58%) reported that less than half of their job was officially dedicated to IPC. On average, respondents reported spending the largest proportion of their time on surveillance and epidemiologic investigation (19%). IPs lacked support for secretarial functions (23%), data management (14%), and electronic medical records (32%). IPC activities, staffing, and resources differed significantly by type of nonacute care facility.

Conclusions:

This study indicates that resources directed to IPC in nonacute care settings may be lacking and identifies important areas for IPC education and program improvement. Research is needed to further examine staffing and IPC resources in these settings, which represent unique challenges to infection prevention and control.

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