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The Future of Hospital Epidemiology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2016

Calvin M. Kunin*
Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Room M110, Starling Loving Hall, 320 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210


It is not difficult to predict the future of hospital epidemiology. It will become increasingly important. The need to prevent and control hospital-acquired infections and to protect the staff from communicable diseases will grow. Hospitals will continue to be filled with patients, life-prolonging technical advances will continue to be introduced, resistance will emerge to the new antimicrobial agents, the number of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) will increase and the population will continue to age. Concomitant increases in costs and demands for accountability and for quality assurance will occur (Table 1).

The future for practitioners of hospital epidemiology is less assured. We will have to continue to convince hospital administrators that we are more than “bean counters” engaged mainly in surveillance. We must assure them that the benefits of our work justify the costs of maintaining effective infection control units and that we are dedicated to prevention and control.

Program Summaries
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 1989

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