Infection Prevention and Control Issues in the Environment of Care

Infection Prevention and Control Issues in the Environment of Care
5th Ed.
2023 © Joint Commission Resources
Michael Canales, CHFT, KSHE CHC; Leon Young, MLS (ASCP)
ISBN-13: 978-1-63585-332-2
eISBN-13: 978-1-63585-333-9
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement , Infectious Diseases


The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the critical nature of infection prevention and control. Although healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States had been declining since 2015, in both 2020 and 2021, the first two years of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported increases in HAIs, including central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), ventilator-associated events (VAE), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia. These increases reveal the need for renewed back-to-basics attention to infection prevention and control. And because an organization’s ability to prevent and control infection is inextricably linked to its physical environment, a thoughtfully managed environment is a crucial piece in the infection prevention and control puzzle.

The fifth edition of the best-selling Infection Prevention and Control Issues in the Environment of Care is designed to help infection preventionists, other infection prevention and control practitioners, and physical environment professionals collaborate to design, improve, and manage an infection prevention and control program that will protect patients, staff, and visitors from the threat of infection. This edition explores the keys to maintaining a safe, infection-free environment, which includes reducing and controlling environmental hazards and risks. It examines various infection risks, both in the United States and abroad, that can be minimized or eradicated through proper management of the physical environment. Topics new to the fifth edition include expanded information on utility systems, including prevention of waterborne illness, and expanded information on planning for and managing infectious disease emergencies, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Topics:

  • • Joint Commission and Joint Commission International standards for infection prevention and control and related standards for the physical environment and emergency management across health care settings
  • • The human element of infection prevention and control efforts—from high-level leadership to frontline staff, patients, and visitors—in such areas as hand hygiene, sharps management, and staff training
  • • Infection prevention and control considerations before, during, and after a construction project, including risk assessments
  • • Reprocessing medical/surgical items, including what types of items need to be reprocessed and the role of different departments in reprocessing
  • • The impact of utility and water distribution and management systems on infection prevention and control
  • • The importance of addressing infection prevention and control in emergency management plans to manage risks during emergencies
  • • Performance improvement and measuring infection prevention and control in the physical environment
  • • Guidelines, requirements, specifications, and recommendations for infection prevention and control in the physical environment

Key Features:

  • • Practical tips and strategies to improve infection prevention and control programs and EC programs
  • • Advice for how environment of care and infection control professionals can collaborate
  • • Case studies profiling infection prevention and control plans and projects that have proven effective in health care facilities Pandemic-Lessons Learned sidebars that highlight important pandemic-related learning
  • • Useful tools and checklists to help health care organizations assess and address infection control risks in the care environment
  • • Mock tracer scenarios and questions to identify infection risks and monitor compliance
  • • Helpful sidebars that guide organizations in assessing compliance with Joint Commission/Joint Commission International standards and other guidelines and requirements, explore the pros and cons of various infection prevention and control approaches and provide resources for additional guidance on infection prevention and control issues

Quotes, Reviews or Testimonials

"This book examines a considerable number of topics that are useful for IPC professionals. It is exhilarating to gain insights from the Joint Commission for an area that is a comprehensive focus of their accreditation process..."
"Because of the topics new to this edition, it is essential to replace the previous edition."

-- Dyanne Medlock, BSN (VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System) Doody's Review - previous edition


The audience is infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, although the book includes references and tools for those in other disciplines that IPC professionals closely work with. The book meets the basic needs of individuals working in a variety of areas in infection prevention. The Joint Commission is undeniably a credible authority on the topic of an environment of care and this book provides a starting point for further discovery about each of the topics.

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