Applications of Epidemiology – A Case Study of E. coli at Good Health Hospital

Assignment 1: Applications of Epidemiology – A Case Study

The situation at Good Health Hospital has become a bit overwhelming ever since the outbreak of E. coli in Ward 10 on the second floor. It appears that there are six (6) cases of the disease. To better understand the situation, communication with the CDC has revealed that this particular bacterium can be found in many everyday items. The CDC recommends that investigation begins in the hospital kitchens, since E. coli can be transmitted via contaminated vegetables, as well as delicatessen meats such as salami and other cold cuts. The following table shows the number of cases identified so far:

CaseAgeGender
123M
221F
315M
442F


After meeting yesterday with chief administrator Joe Wellborn, it has been decided that the litigation issues with one (1) of the patients may need further information to determine if the patient was already symptomatic with the bacteria prior to admission.

Research has indicated that hospitals operating in the Tampa Bay area have been known to have cases of E. coli contamination. This substantiates the need for further investigations by the County Health Department.

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Due to the severity of the cases, and the potential for further spread, it is recommended that the hospital seek alternate vending services since the present suppliers cannot verify sanitation protocols for their products.

In conclusion, the study done at Good Health Hospital has indicated that the E. coli outbreak was in fact caused by spoil food from the cafeteria.

As a social science researcher working for a regional hospital, you are placed in charge of contacting the DOH from your home state, as well as the CDC for statistical data on nosocomial diseases that frequently cause illness at your health care facility. Using information from both agencies, evaluate the data on common nosocomial diseases and compile a treatment contingency plan for dealing with the hospital infections.

Write a five to six (5-6) page evaluation report in which you:

  1. Analyze Good Health Hospital’s records and itemize recent nosocomial infections that occurred within the past year. In your report, categorize the different parameters (i.e., person, time, place, ethnicity, and gender) used in the compilation of data into the information summative.
  2. Propose at least six (6) questions for the health care administrator at Good Health Hospital, regarding potential litigation issues with infections from the nosocomial diseases. Rationalize, in your report, the logic behind your six (6) questions.
  3. Identify a targeted audience within Good Health Hospital, and prepare an implementation plan based on your hypothetical meeting with the hospital health care administrator. Propose four (4) steps that will be useful in the final implementation plan.
  4. Suggest at least five (5) recommendations to your department head based on the steps taken in the implementation plan. Provide rationale for your suggestions.
  5. Using these approved recommendations, design a safety protocol itinerary that must be placed in public access areas of the hospital.
  6. Use at least four (4) peer-reviewed academic resources in this assignment. These must come from journal sources. Note: Fact Sheets, Wikipedia, and non-academic Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

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Applications of Epidemiology – A Case Study of E. coli at Good Health Hospital

Epidemiology has constantly been implemented in the field of public health. One of its uses is to provide a diagnosis of the general health of the people including their condition. As a result, epidemiology provides a measurement of the true distribution as well as dimension of ill-health ascertaining its prevalence, incidence, mortality and disability relative to its importance. In addition, epidemiology also identifies the new measures which must be taken into consideration to deal with the general health of the community. Taking into consideration the efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services in the prevention of nosocomial infections, several measures have been identified so as to curb the prevalence rates of mortality arising from the spread of the illness due to negligence. The outlined research provides an insight into the data on nosocomial diseases that causes illnesses to the people of the Good Health Hospital. Further, the paper analyses the data and outlines a treatment contingency plan focused on dealing with the outlined infections in the healthcare facility.

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Recent Nosocomial Infections

            In the past one year, 2 major types of nosocomial infections (NI) have been recorded in Tampa Bay area. Nosocomial Pneumonia and nosocomial blood stream infection are the identified forms of infection noted. The identified infections have majorly affected the female gender in the society within a hospital setting. Mainly the ethnic minority in the society have been affected by the identified form of illness due to racial discrimination issues. Good Health Hospital is also located in this region. Pneumonia is one of the NI recorded in the region. According to Arefian et al. (2016), Nosocomial Pneumonia forms a basis of the most common form of NI that results in mortality and morbidity. E. Coli is known to be one of the causative agents resulting in the infection. One case of E. Coli has been reported among male individuals aged 23 years. Two cases have been reported among female gender aged 21 years. Three cases of the infection have been reported among male individuals aged 15 with 4 cases being reported among female individuals aged 42.

Questions

  1. Do you screen patients for bacteria infection prior to admission? What other legal issues duties have you implemented as a healthcare provided to ensure the safety of the patients in the institution?
  2. Do you have a duty of informing the patients within the healthcare facility of the fact that they are at risk of harm with the spread of E.Coli?
  3. Have you taken time to inform the patients of the theoretical risks associated with the Nosocomial infection currently recorded in the health care organization?
  4. Having established that the spoiled food from the cafeteria caused the spread of the bacteria, what information must you disclose to the regulatory bodies in the region?
  5. Have you instituted and maintained a sufficient and rigorous precaution of infection-control aimed at preventing further spread of the NI within the healthcare organization?
  6. What measures have you put in place to uphold quality standards as required by the healthcare quality standards?

The identified questions outline potential litigation issues revolving around cases of nosocomial infections such as the spread of E. Coli at Good Health Hospital. By answering the questions, the healthcare administration will provide a general overview of whether or not the facility is taking into consideration matters associated with patient safety as required by the law. Prevalently, the questions raise important aspects pertaining to information disclosure to patients, liability, making reports to regulatory bodies, as well as other matters showing the duty of the hospital to shield the general public from harm.

According to Dasgupta et al. (2015), it is a fact that the law plays an important role in the protection of the safety of the patients within a hospital setting. In this line, the law has established a set of rules and standards that the healthcare providers are needed to follow all costs to ensure all their activities fall under the outlined standards. The principles established under the legal rules and standards require the healthcare representatives to receive all the information that they require making an informed decision on any matter associated with damages claims, especially in cases where the main cause of the damage is linked to negligence. In addition, malpractice litigation offers a mechanism whereby the persons who have been harmed have the capacity of seeking redress and being compensated for any damages caused.

Implementation Plan

The main target audience identified includes the hospitals CEO, the board members, the physician executives and other identified senior managers within the organization charged with risk management. The suggested implementation plan will be composed of 4 phases such as Planning, Design, Development, and Deployment.

Recommendations

The planning phase should be included in the final implementation plan focused on dealing with the issue of the bacteria spread in the healthcare facility. Incidentally, under the planning phase, a project team will be identified that will ensure all the current issues associated with the spread of the NI are identified and solutions outlines.  Moreover, under this phase, the project plan that will be used in acting as a guide for the rest of the phases is also drafted.

The design phase should also be included in the plan to counteract the spread of the illness in the hospital. Wang et al. (2013) states that at the design phase of an implementation plan, the identified project team members will be working hand in hand to identify the litigation matters which it must incorporate within the healthcare’s daily operation.

A state where all the outlined actions ensuring the situation do not worsen should be included in the implementation plan for it to be complete. Development stage is the third phase of the plan. Under this phase, all the designed elements in the previous phase will be put into action. For instance, ensuring all the patients are tested to confirm if they are infected with the bacteria in question. In addition, informing the already admitted patients of the spread of the NI in the institution is necessary. Furthermore, updating the relevant regulatory body of the ongoing spread of the bacteria in the facility is also the administrator’s duty of care.

The members should take time and identify if there is need for having the plan implemented. Including a step that determines if there is a need of having the plan implement or not. The fourth stage of the plan is the Deployment phase. Under Deployment, the project team members will take a chance of assessing the current situation within the healthcare facility before making a final decision on whether or not it is important to have the identified steps undertaken. If yes, all the identified actions are undertaken to promote the safety of the patients in the facility from further contamination from the spread of the bacteria.

Despite the fact that the implementation plan only incorporates the identified four steps, the project plan members should test the plan after its deployment to access if all the safety needs of the patients are addressed as anticipated. Hoenigl et al. (2014) posits that testing is necessary as it makes it easier to determine if the set requirements align with the system.

Safety Protocol Itinerary

All patients seeking admission will be tested and screened for nosocomial infections before they are admitted within the health facility. The outlined safety measure is to ensure that none of the patients are carriers of the identified infections resulting in their spread without their knowledge. In addition, any patient who tests positive for the identified infections will be notified by the hospital administration direction. Prevalently, the institution has the obligation of disclosing any information regarding any potential risk or harm to the patient in due time. In case of any medical error resulting in false tests the health facility’s administration will also uphold its duty of care of informing the patients as well as other involved parties of the inaccuracies or errors that may cause potential harm to them.

Other than notifying the patients of any threat or potential harm, the hospital’s administration will also uphold its duty of care of reporting to government agencies and regulatory bodies any health-related harm such as the rampant spread of E.Coli within the organization. During this time, the quality assurance team will take part in ensuring the safety of the patients is enhanced by drafting measures to be implemented under certain policies.

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