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October 11, 1976

Infection Control in Small HospitalsPrevalence Surveys in 18 Institutions

Author Affiliations

From the Infection Control Project, Intermountain Regional Medical Program (Drs Britt and Wilfert and Ms Nordquist); the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine (Drs Britt, Burke, Wilfert, and Smith); and the LDS Hospital (Dr Burke), Salt Lake City.

JAMA. 1976;236(15):1700-1703. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270160022022

In prevalence surveys of 18 small hospitals in the intermountain region, 20.4% of the patients had community-acquired infections and 7.2% had infections acquired in the hospital. The types of nosocomial infections and patterns of antibiotic usage were similar to those encountered in large hospitals. In the small hospitals, 49% of the suspected bacterial infections were cultured, whereas at a nearby large hospital 77% were cultured. Seventeen of these small hospitals had an infection-control committee but these committees were unable to assess adequately the extent of their nosocomial infection problems. Monitoring of the environment with bacterial cultures was a frequent practice; overall, a ratio of one environmental culture was performed to each three diagnostic cultures. These results indicate the need to develop and evaluate nosocomial infection control programs in small hospitals.

(JAMA 236:1700-1703, 1976)