Today's healthcare environment provides quality treatment and care to patients in a variety of settings. Despite the advances in technology and science, the healthcare environment also contains threats from infectious agents. There are an estimated two million healthcare associated infections (HAIs) that occur each year; one in 25 hospitalized persons will contract an HAI (CDC, 2014). HAIs occur during healthcare delivery in any setting (e.g., hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory settings, home care).
While this number had remained generally stable over the past 30 years, despite multiple changes to the healthcare system:
Fewer hospitals, increased use of technology, shorter lengths of stay, a shift in care delivery from in-patient to out-patient, the shortage of nurses at the bedside, drug resistant organisms, newly emerging infectious agents, etc. It is clear that despite these many changes, healthcare providers must be continually vigilant to the potential for the spread of infection.
However the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2014), using data from 2012, reported that on a national level, there was:
- A 44 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2012.
- A 20 percent decrease in infections related to the 10 surgical procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2012.
- A 4 percent decrease in hospital-onset MRSA bloodstream infections between 2011 and 2012.
- A 2 percent decrease in hospital-onset C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2012.
- A 3 percent increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections between 2009 and 2012.
So, while there is some good news, HAIs continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality among patients.
The State of New York takes the spread of infection seriously. Chapter 768 of the Laws of 1992 contains legislation that requires select healthcare professionals take two hours of New York State Education Department approved coursework on infection control. In order to be licensed in New York State, selected healthcare professionals are required to receive initial training that includes the 6 elements listed below:
Element I: The healthcare professional's
responsibility to adhere to scientifically accepted principles
and practices of infection control and to monitor the performance
of those for whom the professional is responsible.
Element II: The modes and mechanisms
of transmission of pathogenic organisms in the healthcare
setting and strategies for prevention and control.
Element III: The use of engineering
and work practice controls to reduce the opportunity for patient
and healthcare worker exposure to potentially infectious material
in all healthcare settings.
Element IV: Selection and use of
barriers and/or personal protective equipment for preventing
patient and healthcare worker contact with potentially infectious
Element V: The creation and maintenance
of a safe environment for patient care through application
of infection control principles and practices for cleaning,
disinfection, and sterilization.
Element VI: The prevention and management
of infectious or communicable disease in healthcare workers.
This course has been approved by the New
York State Education Department and meets the mandatory requirement.
Upon successful completion of this course, results will be
electronically sent to the New York State Education Department.
You may want to print out a copy for your own records, but
there is no need to submit the certificate to the New York
State Education Department, since Access Continuing Education,
Inc. will submit that information for you.
Continue to: Element