The Joint Commission is preparing to adopt methods from a new compendium of practical strategies for preventing the six most-important healthcare-associated infections in acute-care hospitals. At a news conference, Robert Wise, the commissions vice president for standards and survey methods, said that some of these strategies may be added immediately to existing commission requirements that have already been successful in reducing infections.
The commission also plans to hold a meeting in 2009 to consider what additional strategies in the compendium should be added to Joint Commission accreditation standards and national patient-safety goals, Wise said.
The recommendations address minimum basic practices, such as handwashing, that should be adopted by all acute-care hospitals, in addition to special approaches that would be used when basic practices might not work to control infections, such as in the event of an outbreak. These approaches would be used to help prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile infections, in addition to device- and procedure-associated infections such as central line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical-site infections.
Were excited to offer these strategies to the field, in the hopes of someday conquering hospital-acquired infections, said Richard Umbdenstock, president and chief executive officer of the American Hospital Association, who joined the Joint Commission, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology in releasing the compendium. -- by Jennifer Lubell