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What are the Prevention Epicenters

To enhance preventability of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), CDC began the Prevention Epicenters research program in 1997 under the leadership of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) as a way to work directly with academic partners to address important scientific questions regarding the prevention of HAIs, antibiotic resistance, and other adverse events associated with healthcare.

As part of the original program announcement, eight Prevention Epicenters were funded for three years under Prevention Epicenters I. In continuation of efforts to support this research program, DHQP extended the program by funding seven of the original Epicenters in 2000 for 5 years (Prevention Epicenters II), and again in 2006. The purpose was to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of epidemiologically based strategies to improve healthcare quality and assure patient safety by preventing adverse events associated with healthcare including, but not limited to, HAIs and antimicrobial-resistant (AR) infections.

Prevention Epicenters Program IV

A new program announcement was developed and funded in 2011, resulting in five Prevention Epicenters. The innovative strategies that will be explored include:

  • the use of combinations of bleach and ultraviolet light to clean hospital rooms to help prevent infection
  • new tests that help distinguish patients who need antibiotics from those who don't, as a means to prevent antibiotic- resistant infections,
  • methods that can help doctors anticipate when medical devices being used to treat a patient are on the verge of causing an infection, so that device-associated infections can be averted before they begin, and
  • treating patients with living microorganisms that are harmless to the patient but compete with harmful germs, as a means of preventing health care-associated infections.

The Prevention Epicenter program has resulted in over 150 publications in peer-review; journals to date on a wide variety of HAI prevention topics. Selected publications can be viewed here.

Epicenters for the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections, 2011

 
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