The Importance of Patient Notification and CORHA’s HAI Outbreak Notification Framework (Part 2)
Part Two: CORHA’s New HAI Outbreak Notification Framework
Posted: June 16, 2022
Authors: Maureen Tierney, MD, MSc., FIDSA, Moon Kim, MD, MPH, & Dawn Terashita, MD, MPH
In part one of this blog, we discussed the case for making outbreak notifications. Now we will talk about a new CORHA resource to assist with notifications. The CORHA Policy Workgroup has been discussing both legal and policy considerations related to outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by antimicrobial-resistant (AR) pathogens.
Our workgroup aims to generate products that can assist policy makers, at all levels, with improving the detection, reporting, investigation, control, and prevention of HAI/AR outbreaks. CORHA’s Framework for Healthcare-Associated Infection Outbreak Notification is a prime example. The framework was created because standards for HAI outbreak patient notification and public disclosure were lacking.
We recognize that communicating information about outbreaks to patients, families, and healthcare workers is critical so patients can make informed decisions about their health and take appropriate recommended steps or actions. It is also very important for controlling and preventing further disease transmission.
Our patient notification framework is based on public health best practices and grounded in bioethical principles of autonomy and beneficence. It was developed as a resource to help navigate the growing expectations and charged conversations around outbreaks and patient notification. The notification framework is designed to guide healthcare facility clinicians and policy makers with a standard set of actions that they may need to consider when an outbreak is identified at their facility.
Healthcare partners should work with their local or state health departments to identify who to notify, and how to notify, as the framework details specific examples and considerations through the different steps of notification during an outbreak. The framework addresses three different levels of notification; immediate notification, expanded notification and public notification and details steps and actions to consider depending on the circumstances of the outbreak.
Notifications, like outbreaks, vary in size, scale and complexity. We anticipate CORHA’s new framework will be a valuable tool to assist our healthcare facility and public health partners with navigating these multifaceted and demanding situations.
Please click here to learn more about additional Resources and Products developed by CORHA.