The specter of epidemics or healthcare-associated infections is a constant presence in the healthcare environment, and the government institutions are always seeking to implement training methodologies for effective prevention. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion offer interactive training systems aimed at improving the ability of the healthcare personnel at recognizing symptoms, possible triggers, and at making adequate decisions.
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As I have never participated in an outbreak investigation, both systems offer several insights. The CDC proposes a series of outbreak scenarios where the health professional students and practitioners are asked to solve a case by some cues (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n. d.). Solve the Outbreak project on the CDC website, however, looks more like a logic game rather than medical training.
The ODPHP has created a series of video simulations where clinicians and students can visualize different possible outcomes (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2018). This project, called Partnering to Heal, revolves around the prevention of healthcare-associated infections and seems to be well structured; moreover, the dramatization adds some pathos to the training. The doubts regard the capacity of the project to cover the long range of practical recommendations to implement and prioritize the prevention efforts highlighted by many reports (Marschall et al., 2014). The most crucial shortcoming of such activities is their virtuality, where both routine oversights and mistakes due to high workloads or to the stress of real epidemic situations cannot be simulated.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n. d.) Solve the outbreak. Disease detective. Web.
Marschall, J., Mermel, L. A., Fakih, M., Hadaway, L., Kallen, A., O’Grady, N.,…Yokoe, D. S. (2014). Strategies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 update. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(52), 89-107. Web.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2018). Partnering to heal. Web.