Document Detail

Using sensor networks to study the effect of peripatetic healthcare workers on the spread of hospital-associated infections.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23045621     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Super-spreading events, in which an individual with measurably high connectivity is responsible for infecting a large number of people, have been observed. Our goal is to determine the impact of hand hygiene noncompliance among peripatetic (eg, highly mobile or highly connected) healthcare workers compared with less-connected workers.
METHODS: We used a mote-based sensor network to record contacts among healthcare workers and patients in a 20-bed intensive care unit. The data collected from this network form the basis for an agent-based simulation to model the spread of nosocomial pathogens with various transmission probabilities. We identified the most- and least-connected healthcare workers. We then compared the effects of hand hygiene noncompliance as a function of connectedness.
RESULTS: The data confirm the presence of peripatetic healthcare workers. Also, agent-based simulations using our real contact network data confirm that the average number of infected patients was significantly higher when the most connected healthcare worker did not practice hand hygiene and significantly lower when the least connected healthcare workers were noncompliant.
CONCLUSIONS: Heterogeneity in healthcare worker contact patterns dramatically affects disease diffusion. Our findings should inform future infection control interventions and encourage the application of social network analysis to study disease transmission in healthcare settings.
Thomas Hornbeck; David Naylor; Alberto M Segre; Geb Thomas; Ted Herman; Philip M Polgreen
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.     Date:  2012-10-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of infectious diseases     Volume:  206     ISSN:  1537-6613     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Infect. Dis.     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-22     Completed Date:  2013-01-02     Revised Date:  2013-12-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0413675     Medline TA:  J Infect Dis     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1549-57     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Computer Simulation
Contact Tracing / instrumentation,  methods*
Cross Infection / epidemiology,  transmission*
Hand Disinfection / standards*
Health Personnel*
Infection Control
Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient / prevention & control*
Models, Theoretical
Grant Support
Comment In:
J Infect Dis. 2012 Nov 15;206(10):1488-90   [PMID:  23045623 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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