How Might Contact Precautions Affect Quality of Care?
MAY 05, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
Gonzalo Bearman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, and hospital epidemiologist, Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Virginia Commonwealth University, explains how contact precautions can affect a patient’s wellbeing and quality of care.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“Adverse events associated with contact precautions is also a controversial area, but it’s believed that patients who are isolated, or put on contact precautions, have issues with fewer doctor or nurse visits. Sometimes, [they have] greater issues with adverse consequences like electrolyte disorders, fluid imbalances, sometimes psychological impacts, such as isolation, sadness, or psychiatric or neuro-psychiatric issues related to that.
Last, but not least, there’s concern that isolating patients also has an impact on the throughput or the movement of the patient through the healthcare system. So, more people wait for room on the front end, either in the emergency department, and then at the end of therapy, particularly when there’s an issue with placement of a patient. If they’re isolated, that can slow down the placement into a long-term care facility, for example."
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