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How to Prevent Pathogen Spread in Your Health Care Facility

Daniel Diekema, MD, explains how clinicians can actively work to prevent pathogen spread in their health care facilities.

Daniel Diekema, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, explains how clinicians can actively work to prevent pathogen spread in their health care facilities.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“I think the most important things for clinicians to do to prevent pathogen spread are to practice the basics of infection control—standard precautions, good hand hygiene—and then to be alert to clinical syndromes that may portend infections that require additional efforts to prevent transmission.

So, for example, that patient that comes into the hospital with diarrhea and had antibiotic exposure, to know to immediately isolate that patient or put them in contact isolation, so that if they do have Clostridium difficile, [they are] not even waiting for the laboratory result [to take action]. Or that patient who comes in with weight loss and night sweats and knowing to suspect that tuberculosis is in the differential, and maybe put that patient in airborne isolation before there’s a chance for spread. So, a lot of it is just careful clinical evaluation to implement the correct infection control interventions."