Behavioral Health

Author(s):
Marie K. Moss, MPH, RN, CIC, CPHQ, FAPIC Infection Prevention and Control

Mount Sinai Beth Israel
New York, NY

Bernard Camins, MD, MSc Medical Director, Infection Prevention, Mount Sinai Health System

Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Revised:
April 11, 2024
Published:
October 3, 2014
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Bernard Camins is a Medical advisor for Applied UV, Inc. He declares no other conflicts of interest.
  • Marie Moss reports no conflicts of interest.

Abstract

Infection prevention and control (IPC) programs must be versatile in their understanding of and approach to the variety of settings that fall under the aegis of a behavioral health program. Behavioral Health services are provided in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, acute care hospitals, specialty psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse centers, outpatient practices, comprehensive psychiatric evaluation programs, group homes, and correctional institutions. In each of these settings, the infection preventionist (IP) is presented with unique opportunities to identify, prevent, and control healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Patients with mental illness may be at increased risk for infection in the community due to hazardous behaviors, functional impairment, immune deficiency disorders, and other comorbidities. Many individuals may have a dual diagnosis, which means having a mental illness as well as a substance use disorder. The unique practices of the various treatment settings that serve these patients, as well as the behaviors of the patients themselves, can lead to a heightened risk for transmission of HAIs to other patients and staff. Ref 50-1 Schweon, SJ. Preventing infection in behavioral health settings. Nursing. Jul 2019;49(7):15-17. doi:10.1097/01.NURSE.0000559930.04760.4e - You do not have permission to view this object.  No matter what challenges arise, the behavioral health IP’s goal is to develop strategies designed to identify infections and prevent transmission.