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Implementation of the infection control estimate: A case study on the use of a newly developed digital tool for outbreak management in the acute setting

Journal of Infection Prevention
Year of publication
Aim: An Infection Control Estimate (ICE) Tool was developed based on a previously published concept of applying military planning techniques to Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) management strategies in the acute healthcare setting. Methods: Initial testing of the outbreak management tool was undertaken in a large acute hospital in the North-West of England during a localised outbreak of COVID-19. The tool, developed using Microsoft Excel, was completed by trained IPC practitioners in real-time to log outbreak details, assign and manage meeting actions and to generate surveillance data. Results: The ICE tool was utilised across five outbreak control meetings to identify and allocate tasks to members of the outbreak control team and to monitor progress. Within the meetings, the tool was used primarily by the trained IPC Specialist Nurses who were guided by and entered data into the relevant sections. Feedback indicated that the tool was easy to use and useful as the sole repository of outbreak information and data. Suggested improvements following the testing period were made and additional functionality was added. Conclusion: Utilisation of the ICE tool has the potential to improve our understanding of the efficacy of currently employed outbreak management interventions and provides a cognitive support and targeted education for teams responsible for the management of outbreaks. It is hoped that by guiding teams through an outbreak with prompts and guidance, as well as facilitating collection and presentation of surveillance data, outbreaks will be resolved sooner and risks to patients will be reduced.
Date added
Created by
Michelle Bendall
Published by
Current Awareness Service for Health