CORHA Governance Committee CSTE Roundtable Discussion
Posted: August 25, 2022
On June 21, CORHA Governance Committee members Drs. Erin Epson and Dawn Terashita convened 150 people for a virtual roundtable discussion at the annual CSTE Conference where they provided an overview of CORHA’s mission and goals, the current progress of the Principles and Practices for Outbreak Response (P&P), and other ongoing Council work. They highlighted CORHA’s P&P and pathogen-specific products and described how these tools can prepare public health and healthcare practitioners for HAI/AR outbreak responses as well as assisting in onboarding new infection prevention and control staff, implementing HAI/AR epidemiology competency trainings, establishing HAI/AR outbreak definitions, and providing guidance for case reporting.
Attendees and facilitators engaged in a robust conversation on their engagement with the Council’s current products and provided suggestions for future work for CORHA to consider to further improve HAI/AR outbreak investigation and response. Many of the roundtable attendees discussed how they have turned to CORHA for recommendations and guidance, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The facilitators solicited feedback from attendees regarding the use of infection control assessment and response (ICAR) tools and the responses were mixed. Some attendees said they used CDC’s ICAR tools, while others used CORHA’s templates and some developed their own workflows within their state and local agencies for infection prevention and control efforts, such as conducting pre-site visit calls using a motivational interview approach. An underlying theme that united all these ICAR approaches was the need for collaboration between public health agencies and healthcare facilities, especially when the sectors may have competing needs and priorities. While defining roles, responsibilities, and regulatory requirements is important, public health and healthcare should aim to begin building and leveraging their relationships before an outbreak occurs. This ultimately creates the most collaborative space for public health agencies and healthcare facilities to work together to respond to outbreaks.
Drs. Epson and Terashita closed the session by discussing products that will be considered for development such as one-pagers for the chapters of the P&P, standardized online tools for ICARs, guidance for non-licensed facilities, updated pathogen-specific thresholds and definitions, and a database where healthcare facilities can track and report HAI/AR outbreaks.
To stay informed on new and updated CORHA products, please consider subscribing to the monthly CORHA Correspondence newsletter. CORHA will continue to work on providing the most up-to-date evidence-based resources for healthcare and public health professionals who aim to build, standardize, and improve HAI/AR outbreak detection, reporting, investigation, and control. CORHA members also welcome feedback on CORHA products.