Healthcare epidemiology is a patient-centered field of science.

Through research, education, and policy development, SHEA strives to ensure that healthcare delivered at the bedside is informed by the latest science to prevent and eliminate HAIs.

Patient and Family Guides for Family-Centered Residential Facilities

In partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. (RMHC), SHEA developed a set of infection prevention guides to educate volunteers, patients, and family members staying in residential facilities. These guides, available for download free of charge, include:

  • Guest health screening questionnaire
  • Medical clearance form
  • Guide for cleaning blood and body fluids
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • Hand washing and using alcohol-based hand rubs
  • WHO method for hand hygiene: soap and water
  • WHO method for hand hygiene: alcohol-based hand rubs

Patient Education Guides on HAIs

These guides are in the process of being updated to reflect the Compendium 2014 Updates; however, we encourage the continued use of the original versions until the new guides are released later in the year.

These patient guides (FAQs), based on recommendations from the 2008 Compendium are available as PDFs for download free of charge. The FAQs are and are endorsed by SHEA, IDSA, the Joint Commission, AHA, APIC, and CDC.

The FAQs educate patients and their families about seven common HAIs and how to work with healthcare professionals to prevent them. The guides are easy to read and available in several languages.

Individuals and healthcare institutions are encouraged to download, print, and distribute the guides.

Rationale for Hand Hygiene Recommendations after Caring for a Patient with Clostridium difficile Infection - Fall 2011 Update

This brief responds to Questions that frequently arise in regards to the recommended method of hand hygiene after caring for patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).  The brief clarifies that although soap and water is superior to removing C. difficile spores from hands of volunteers compared to alcohol-based hand hygiene products, there have been no studies in acute care settings that have demonstrated an increase in CDI with alcohol-based hand hygiene products or a decrease in CDI with soap and water. This is why preferential use of soap and water for hand hygiene after caring for a patient with CDI is not recommended in non-outbreak settings.

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