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Politically Incorrect: Legislation Must Not Mandate Specific Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Prevention and Control Practices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Victoria Fraser
Affiliation:
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA), from Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Missouri
Denise Murphy
Affiliation:
Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC), from Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
P. J. Brennan
Affiliation:
University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Janet Frain
Affiliation:
Integrated Quality Services and Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, California
Kathleen Meehan Arias
Affiliation:
Arias Infection Control Consulting, Crownsville, Maryland
Trish M. Perl
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and University, Baltimore, Maryland

Extract

In this issue of the journal, Dr. Farr offers his perspective on the recent position statement from the Joint SHEA and APIC Task Force regarding legislative mandates for use of active surveillance cultures to screen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). The position statement specifically addresses the issue of whether the use of MRSA and VRE surveillance cultures in healthcare settings should be mandated by legislation. It does not attempt to address whether or not, when, or for whom active surveillance cultures should be performed. A broad range of experts and the Boards of Directors of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA) and the Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) reviewed this position statement, which summarizes the effectiveness of active surveillance culturing as it pertains to potential legislation. Both Boards agree the position statement represents a well-reasoned, systematic, and fair review of the literature. Of course, no single document, group, or individual should ever be viewed as having the final word on this or any subject. Thoughtful debate regarding the scientific evidence, when conducted in a professional and constructive manner, is a critical and necessary step in the translation of research and clinical observations into bedside practices. Such debate should also lead to a research agenda that will help fill gaps in knowledge that become apparent in the discussion.

Type
Readers' Forum: Response
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2007

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References

1. Farr, BF. Political versus epidemiological correctness. Infect Control and Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:589593 (in this issue).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
2. Weber, SG, Huang, SS, Oriola, S, et al. Legislative mandates for active surveillance cultures for MRSA and VRE: position statement from the Joint SHEA and APIC Task Force. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2007;28:249260.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
3. Berenholtz, SM, Pronovost, PJ, Lipsett, PA, et al. Eliminating catheter-related bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit. Crit Care Med 2004;32:20142020.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
4. Warren, DK, Cosgrove, SE, Deikema, DJ, et al., for the Prevention Epicenter Group. A multicenter intervention to prevent catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2006;27:662669.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
5. Pronovost, P, Needham, D, Berenholtz, S, et al. An intervention to decrease catheter-related bloodstream infections in the ICU. N Engl J Med 2006;355:27252732.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

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