Virtual Infection Prevention -The Next Frontier
DICON Medical Director, Dr. Dev Anderson, worked with a team from Virginia Commenwealth Univeristy in Richmond to explore the changing landscape of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship centered on virtual surveillance.
Electronic, remote, and/or virtual infection prevention should not just be limited to large, academic tertiary care hospitals. COVID-19 has severely impacted IPCs in community hospitals, where >50% of healthcare is provided. Infection prevention programs in community hospitals are underresourced at baseline, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue. Community hospitals are suffering from additional strains on resources due to outbreaks and personnel shortages. Thus, community hospital IPCs can utilize remote strategies for education, surveillance, and feedback. The Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) has engaged community hospitals for more than two decades, leading to decreases in HAIs among participating hospitals through routine on-site visits, education, implementation of best practices, and data collection, review and feedback. This model is an example of an IPC support strategy that can be easily and successfully pivoted to virtual interactions, even for the smallest community hospitals.
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