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Authors

  1. Herstein, Jocelyn J. MPH
  2. Biddinger, Paul D. MD
  3. Gibbs, Shawn G. PhD
  4. Le, Aurora B. MPH
  5. Jelden, Katelyn C. MPH
  6. Hewlett, Angela L. MD
  7. Lowe, John J. PhD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe strategies used by US high-level isolation units (HLIUs) to recruit, train, and sustain a full team of multidisciplinary staff and identify how units are secured.

 

BACKGROUND: Fifty-six US hospitals have been designated HLIUs, capable of providing safe care to patients with highly infectious disease.

 

METHODS: An electronic survey was administered to the 56 HLIUs in spring of 2016. Responses were collected via a fillable PDF and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

 

RESULTS: Thirty-six HLIUs (64%) responded; 33 completed surveys, and 3 reported no longer being a designated HLIU. HLIUs reported large numbers of multidisciplinary staff, primarily consisting of RNs and critical care clinicians. Nearly all HLIUs (94%) required orientation training, although hours varied.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Over a short period, HLIUs recruited and trained significant numbers of staff with little guidance. Costs of ongoing trainings are considerable, and it remains unclear how HLIUs will continue funding these activities.