Unrecognized spread of germs from healthcare personnel (HCP) contamination occurs every day in healthcare settings, posing a risk to patients and HCP alike. Recent Ebola virus outbreaks demonstrated that the potential for transmission of any pathogen in healthcare settings poses an immediate and serious threat.
Preventing the spread of germs in healthcare is essential to protecting the health of patients and HCP. This International Infection Prevention Week, the CDC Prevention Epicenters Program is pleased to announce a groundbreaking new journal supplement, “Personal Protective Equipment for Preventing Contact Transmission of Pathogens: Innovations from CDC’s Prevention Epicenters Program,” composed of 14 in-depth studies, published in this month’s Clinical Infectious Diseases. This research provides insights from recent personal protective equipment (PPE) work in U.S. healthcare settings. It provides evidence to improve routine use of PPE, and to prevent contact transmission of Ebola and other infectious diseases in healthcare settings.
All healthcare settings can benefit from improvements in PPE use and design. PPE plays an important role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases in healthcare settings, but its optimal design and use need to be informed by dedicated research to achieve the reliability and effectiveness needed to protect patients and HCP.