July 30, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on HAI prevention efforts

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This survey on the “Impact of COVID-19 on healthcare associated infections” provides a snapshot of how resource diversion for the COVID-19 is affecting the infection prevention community.

Of 220 respondents, 79.1% said they were spending more than 75% of their time on COVID-19 response efforts and another 13.2% said they were spending more than 50% to 75% of their time on those efforts.

Sponsored Message

The potential impacts of the diversion of traditional infection prevention resources to focus on COVID-19 are numerous, the researchers say, and include:

  • surveillance efforts may be compromised leading to compromised case identification
  • process measure data collection may be compromised (eg, compliance with hand hygiene, chlorhexidine bathing)
  • mitigation efforts are likely to be affected, and in the absence of real-time HAI surveillance and provider and unit feedback, an increase in HAIs is likely
  • the diversion of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop using isolations gowns for endemic pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci may lead to more cross transmission and HAIs.

Health systems should consider creative ways to support and bolster their infection prevention programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors say.


Sign Up For OR a.m.
Sign up for the free OR a.m. eLetter to get news like this in your inbox every morning!

OR Manager Jobs
Live chat by BoldChat