Infection prevention staffing needs may be underestimated
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive assessment of health care organization composition and structure is necessary before determining infection preventionist (IP) staffing needs, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control.
Rebecca Bartles, M.P.H., from Providence St. Joseph Health System in Renton, Wash., and colleagues describe a large nonprofit health care system’s approach at quantifying the actual number of IP and relative support staff needed to build and sustain effective infection prevention programs.
After performing a quantitative needs assessment involving a department-level survey for 34 hospitals, 583 ambulatory sites, and 26 in-home and long-term-care programs across five states, the researchers found that actual labor needs to be 31 to 66 percent above current benchmarks of 0.5 to one IP per 100 occupied beds. A new benchmark of one infection prevention full-time equivalent per 69 beds is needed if ambulatory, long-term care, or home care is included.
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