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Najjar-Debbiny R, Chazan B, Lobl R, Greene MT, Ratz D, Saint S, Carmeli Y, Schwaber MJ, Israel IPC Working Group. Healthcare-associated infection prevention and control practices in Israel: results of a national survey. BMC infectious diseases. 2022 Sep 16; 22(1):739.
BACKGROUND: Healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is a common and largely preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to health systems. We conducted a national survey to ascertain hospital characteristics and the use of HAI prevention measures in Israel. METHODS: We e-mailed surveys to infection prevention and control (IPC) leads of acute care hospitals in Israel. The survey included questions about the use of practices to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). The survey also assessed COVID-19 impact and healthcare worker well-being. RESULTS: IPC leads from 15 of 24 invited hospitals (63%) completed the survey. Only one-third of respondents reported strong support for IPC from hospital leadership. Although several prevention practices were used by all hospitals (e.g., maximum sterile barrier precautions for CLABSI and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning for CDI), use of other practices was suboptimal-particularly for CAUTI and VAP. COVID-19 had a profound impact on Israeli hospitals, with all hospitals reporting opening of new units to care for COVID patients and most reporting moderate to extreme financial hardship. All hospitals reported highly successful plans to vaccinate all staff and felt confident that the vaccine is safe and effective. CONCLUSION: We provide a status report of the IPC characteristics and practices Israeli hospitals are currently using to prevent HAIs during the COVID-19 era. While many globally accepted IPC practices are widely implemented, opportunities to increase the use of certain IPC practices in Israeli hospitals exist.