Special Supplement: Understanding the Role of Facility Design in the Acquisition and Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections

December 17, 2013

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major healthcare concern worldwide. In the United States, it is estimated that at any given time, 1 in 20 hospitalized patients is affected by an HAI. These deadly, costly infections are largely preventable.

 
Work related to healthcare-associated infection prevention has predominantly focused on changing clinician behaviors, improving teamwork, and “promoting a culture of safety.” In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that the built environment plays a significant role in the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings.
 
Health Environments Research & Design Journal is excited to publish a special issue focusing on healthcare-associated infection sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of articles featured in this special issue of HERD are the result of a project sponsored by the AHRQ. The project was designed to assess the rigor of claims asserting that design interventions can decrease infection risk, and to identify design strategies grounded in evidence that appear to be effective in interrupting the transmission of HAIs. This project represents a multidisciplinary assessment of the current state of knowledge and identifies emerging trends in the field of infection prevention within the context of the built environment.
 
This project was funded under contract HHSA290201000024I from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of AHRQ or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 

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