Pandemic Has Compounded Challenges for Safety in Healthcare Settings

SHEA responds to perspective published in NEJM from CDC/CMS
February 15, 2022

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) agrees with the call to rebuild a resilient patient safety culture in U.S. healthcare institutions that came today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The pandemic response has led to burnout and staffing shortages, which have compounded the challenges associated with maintaining culture of safety in healthcare settings.  Addressing these realities and creating a patient safety culture that values the critical role of healthcare personnel is essential to building a stronger future for healthcare-associated infection prevention.

We are now faced with a pivotal opportunity for healthcare leaders to take lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to rebuild better systems of care for healthcare-associated infections that can be managed during outbreaks and other crises impacting healthcare.

SHEA has been updating education and expert guidance to incorporate lessons learned from COVID-19 into the next generation of infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship programs.  We look forward to working across government agencies, healthcare systems and patient advocacy groups to refocus on healthcare-associated infection prevention with an emphasis on more sustainable responses post-pandemic.

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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.

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