Infection outbreak investigations are conducted differently in ASCs than they are in inpatient settings, where infection preventionists continuously monitor culture and other lab results, according to Terri Link, BSN.
Ms. Link is a perioperative education specialist and infection preventionist with the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.
She advised ASC nurses to keep the following in mind when investigating an infection outbreak:
1. Establish a clear plan for the outbreak investigation.
2. Collect data to determine whether there's actually an outbreak, but err on the side of caution.
3. Gather data and conduct chart reviews even if the information doesn't seem essential.
4. Understand what constitutes a surgical site infection, and describe it in broad terms to capture all cases.