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Infection. 1988;16(6):373-8.

Organization and operation of the hospital-infection-control program of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

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  • 1University of Iowa, Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City 52242.


The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is located in the center of the United States in Eastern Iowa, has 1,000 hospital beds, and is the largest university owned teaching hospital in the country. Over 35,000 patients are admitted each year. The infection control efforts began in 1969 and were broadened in 1976 with the establishment and implementation of the Program of Epidemiology directed by W.J. Hierholzer, Jr., M.D., hospital epidemiologist. Hospital-wide surveillance is routinely performed by three and a half full-time equivalent LPN practitioners who assess problems and evaluate data essential to realistic identification of nosocomial infection rates, implementation of controls and evaluation of control measures. Nosocomial infection surveillance, utilizing modified CDC criteria, has been performed since July 1976. Ward rounds are made by staff, utilizing nursing care and medication Kardex's, microbiology, hematology and X-ray reports. Importantly, the surveillance system is being validated by concurrent prospective surveys to determine the sensitivity and specificity of reporting data. Outbreaks/epidemics of infections, such as Legionella pneumonia, diarrhea of unknown species, and wounds, as well as burns from manufactured changes in cautery grounds, have been identified and controlled before they have become major epidemics. Surveillance has identified one epidemic per 10,000 patients admitted.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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