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Preparing for the Unexpected in the Realm of Infectious Diseases

Michael Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA, explains how health care facilities can work on preparing for the unexpected in the realm of infectious diseases.

Michael Edmond, MD, MPH, MPA, chief quality officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, explains how health care facilities can work on preparing for the unexpected in the realm of infectious diseases.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“To prepare for the unexpected, I think that there’s a number of things that we need to do. One of the major things that we really need to work on is building the infectious disease and health care epidemiology workforce. We, at the current time, don’t have as many people, young physicians, going into infectious diseases as we will need. And because the pipeline of infectious disease physicians is relatively dry, that means the pipeline for health care epidemiology is even drier. That is really something that we’ve got to work on.

And then, I think that in each individual hospital, what we really need to focus on is building our infection prevention infrastructure. The things that we already do, like surveillance, isolation of patients, antimicrobial stewardship, all of those things, I think every hospital has areas in those components that could benefit from strengthening. And by strengthening our infection programs to the degree that we can, I think that makes us ready as much as we can be for an all-hazards approach.”