Joint Commission Update for Infection Control

Joint Commission to issue pertussis best practices

In conjunction with APIC, CDC, et al

In an effort to help health care organizations implement or enhance tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination programs for patients and health care workers, The Joint Commission is preparing a monograph based on real-world clinical practice. The new monograph will include examples of promising strategies that have improved vaccination rates for people ages 11-64. Many outbreaks of pertussis have occurred in health care settings, including those in which workers have acquired the infection nosocomially and spread it to other staff and patients.

The Joint Commission monograph will be published later this year in partnership with infection prevention and infectious disease leaders from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

When finalized, the monograph will be available for free download on The Joint Commission's public Web site, www.jointcommission.org. The monograph will include:

• Discussion of the impact of pertussis disease, especially on infants and young children

• A review of the morbidity and costs associated with pertussis outbreaks in health care organizations, including personnel absenteeism and furloughs, investigation of exposed persons, antimicrobial prophylaxis and laboratory evaluations

• Background on, and recommendations for, adolescent, adult and health care worker Tdap vaccination.