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Evaluating infection prevention and control programs in Austrian acute care hospitals using the WHO Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Framework.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Infection prevention and control (IPC) is crucial for patient safety. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released various tools to promote IPC. In 2018, the WHO released the Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Framework (IPCAF) that enables acute care healthcare facilities to evaluate IPC structures and practices. Data regarding IPC implementation in Austria are scarce. To deliver insights into this topic and promote the IPCAF within the Austrian IPC community, we decided to invite all Austrian hospitals participating in the German nosocomial infection surveillance system to conduct a self-assessment using the WHO IPCAF. METHODS:The IPCAF follows the eight WHO core components of IPC. A German translation of the IPCAF was sent to 127 Austrian acute care hospitals. The survey period was from October to December 2018. Participation in the survey, data entry and transfer to the German national reference center for surveillance of healthcare-associated infections was on a voluntary basis. RESULTS:Altogether, 65 Austrian hospitals provided a complete dataset. The overall median IPCAF score of all hospitals was 620 (of a possible maximum score of 800), which corresponded to an advanced level of IPC. Of the 65 hospitals, 38 achieved an advanced IPC level. Deeper analysis of the different core components yielded diverse results. Scores were lowest for core components on multimodal strategies for implementation of IPC interventions, and IPC education and training. Around 26% (n?=?17) of hospitals reported that the local IPC team was not steadily supported by an IPC committee. Senior clinical staff was not present in the IPC committee in 23% (n?=?15) of hospitals. Only 26% (n?=?17) of hospitals reported employing at least one IPC professional per ?250 beds. Surveillance for multidrug-resistant pathogens was not conducted in 26% (n?=?17) of hospitals. CONCLUSIONS:Implementation of IPC key aspects is generally at a high level in Austria. However, potentials for improvement were demonstrated, most prominently with regard to staffing, IPC education and training, effective implementation of multimodal strategies, and involvement of professional groups. Our survey demonstrated that the IPCAF is a useful tool for IPC self-assessment and can uncover deficits even in a high-income setting like Austria.

SUBMITTER: Aghdassi SJS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7309981 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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