Assessment of infection control programs in Maryland skilled-nursing long-term care facilities

B Goldrick, E Larson
American Journal of Infection Control 1994, 22 (2): 83-9

BACKGROUND: Nosocomial infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality among residents in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Although infection control programs now exist in many LTCFs in the United States, little has been published regarding the effectiveness of these programs. The 1976 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC) established the effectiveness of infection control programs in acute care facilities. However, a limitation of that study was the exclusion of LTCFs.

METHODS: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess infection control programs in LTCFs through the use of an Infection Surveillance and Control Questionnaire adapted from SENIC. The sample consisted of 123 skilled-nursing LTCFs in the State of Maryland. The questionnaire was completed by the person responsible for infection control activities in each LTCF.

RESULTS: Results of the study show the following: (1) an upward trend in infection control activity in Maryland LTCFs, with the majority having medium activity, and (2) an estimated overall prevalence rate of infection of 4% on the basis of total resident census.

CONCLUSION: The findings indicated that the Infection Surveillance and Control Questionnaire is a reliable instrument to assess infection control programs in LTCFs. A nationwide study is planned to examine the relationship between infection control activity and the risk of nosocomial infection among skilled-nursing LTCFs throughout the United States.

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