Infection Control Lagging Among Home Healthcare Agencies

There are as many people getting healthcare in their own homes, as in institutions like hospitals. And this is a growing trend, says Irena Kenneley, an assistant professor of nursing at Case Western.

KENNELEY: People are going home sicker and sooner from hospitals.

But infection control among home healthcare agencies isn't up to par, says Kenneley. She surveyed nearly 500 providers in 44 states.

What she found was a wide range of infection control practices. For instance, nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said that their agency did not have written policies about infection control when dealing with antibiotic-resistant infections.

She says this is different from what you'd see in hospitals and other settings:

KENNELEY: We have to shift our focus to home healthcare because it's such a booming enterprise and infection prevention and control efforts have sort of lagged behind.

The Case Western nursing professor says the survey is evidence that more education and standardization of infection control is needed, among agencies providing home healthcare.

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