Long-Term Care

Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes

2502 - Infections in Home Healthcare: Prevalence, Prevention, and Knowledge

Thursday, June 15
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Location: Oregon Convention Center, B 113-114

Home healthcare (HHC) is the fastest growing healthcare sector in the United States, with more than 12,400 agencies providing services to about 3.4 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2014. There is wide variation in the rates of infection in HHC patients, with estimates ranging from 5 to 80 percent across agencies. Furthermore, infections are one of the most common reasons for unplanned hospitalization of HHC patients. Preventing infections in HHC patients is especially difficult because of the uncontrolled environment and complex care provided by patients and family members who lack formal infection control training. In this interactive panel session, designed for individuals interested in infection prevention in HHC, the presenters will:
1) present infection rates in HHC using national data and discuss observed health disparities;
2) describe current guidelines and policies aimed at reducing infections in HHC settings; and
3) report on the results of a survey exploring nurses’ knowledge, practices, decision-making, and attitudes toward infection control.

Learning Objectives:


Dawn Dowding

Professor of Nursing
Columbia University School of Nursing; Visiting Nurse Service of New York
New York, New York

Dawn Dowding, PhD, is professor of nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing with a joint appointment at the Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Dr. Dowding is a nurse and health services researcher by background, and has spent her academic career carrying out research into how clinicians (particularly nurses) make decisions, developing and evaluating clinical decision support interventions, and, more recently, evaluating technology and how it affects decision-making. She is currently the principal investigator for an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded study designing dashboards to provide feedback on care quality outcomes for heart failure patients that can be used by home care nurses at the point of care, and a co-investigator on an AHRQ-funded study exploring infection control practices in home care settings.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Dawn Dowding

Carolyn Herzig

Associate Research Scientist
Columbia University School of Nursing
New York, New York

Carolyn Herzig is the senior project director  for the Center for Health Policy in the Columbia University School of Nursing. She received her PhD in epidemiology from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she was a training fellow in the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research. Her research interests include the molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly with regard to the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. She has been actively involved in projects to evaluate infection prevention, antimicrobial resistance, disease transmission, and cost-effectiveness in healthcare, community, and correctional settings.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Carolyn Herzig

Jingjing Shang

Assistant Professor
Columbia University School of Nursing
New York, New York

Jingjing Shang is an assistant professor of nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing. She earned her PhD in nursing from Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on infection control, nursing workforce, home healthcare, predictive risk modeling, exercise, adherence, and cancer patient outcomes. She is currently the principal investigator for an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality–funded R01 exploring infection control practices in home care settings.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Jingjing Shang

Dawn Tomac

Director of Quality and Safety Initiatives
Avera Health
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Dawn Tomac is director of quality and safety initiatives for Avera Health. She’s a registered nurse with 29 years of experience, practicing in infection prevention since 1996 and certified since 1998. Her clinical nursing background includes 10 years’ experience in critical care. She earned her BS with a major in nursing from South Dakota State University. Dawn is a member of the South Dakota Antibiotic Stewardship Workgroup and CRE Task Force, and the Minnesota Hospital Association LEAPT Seeing Sepsis project. Dawn has spoken nationally on sepsis care and CRE. Under Dawn’s direction, the Avera antibiotic stewardship program with the South Dakota Department of Health was acknowledged nationally by the CDC. In her current role, she supports programing with infection prevention staff from 33 hospitals, 21 long-term care facilities, 200 clinics, DME, and multiple home care departments in five states. She was appointed to the APIC Guidelines Committee in 2016.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Dawn Tomac


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