The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) agrees with the call to rebuild a resilient patient safety culture in U.S. healthcare institutions. The initial push came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The pandemic response has led to burnout and staffing shortages, which have compounded the challenges associated with maintaining culture of safety in healthcare settings. Addressing these realities and creating a patient safety culture that values the critical role of healthcare personnel is essential to building a stronger future for healthcare-associated infection prevention.
Faced with a pivotal opportunity for healthcare leaders to take lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to rebuild better systems of care for healthcare-associated infections that can be managed during outbreaks and other crises impacting healthcare.
SHEA has been updating education and expert guidance to incorporate lessons learned from COVID-19 into the next generation of infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship programs. We look forward to working across government agencies, healthcare systems and patient advocacy groups to refocus on healthcare-associated infection prevention with an emphasis on more sustainable responses post-pandemic.