Outbreak Investigations

Author(s):
Elizabeth A. Campbell, BS, RN, CIC Infection Control Coordinator

Reston Hospital Center
Reston, VA

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

Outbreaks of both infectious and noninfectious adverse events can occur in any healthcare setting and pose a threat to patient safety. Regardless of scope, investigation of a potential outbreak involves certain epidemiological components. Cooperation between healthcare epidemiologists, infection preventionists, and public health experts is important in effectively managing outbreak responses in healthcare settings. The ultimate goal of any outbreak investigation is to identify probable contributing factors and to stop or reduce the risk for future occurrences.