Status Update on Infection Prevention and Control at Deployed Medical Treatment Facilities

Alice E. Barsoumian, Steffanie L. Solberg, Ashley S. Hanhurst, Amanda L. Roth, Tamara S. Funari, Maria Cristina E. Cruz-Fehr, Helen Crouch, Christopher Florez, Clinton K. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Infections with multidrug resistant organisms that spread through nosocomial transmission complicate the care of combat casualties. Missions conducted to review infection prevention and control (IPC) practices at deployed medical treatment facilities (MTFs) previously showed gaps in best practices and saw success with targeted interventions. An IPC review has not been conducted since 2012. Recently, an IPC review was requested in response to an outbreak of multidrug resistant organisms at a deployed facility. Materials and Methods: A Joint Service team conducted onsite IPC reviews of MTFs in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Self-assessments were completed by MTF personnel in anticipation of the onsite assessment, and feedback was given individually and at monthly IPC working group teleconferences. Goals of the onsite review were to assist MTF teams in conducting assessments, review practices for challenges and successes, provide on the spot education or risk mitigation, and identify common trends requiring system-wide action. Results: Nine deployed MTFs participated in the onsite assessments, including four Role 3, three Role 2 capable of surgical support, and two Role 1 facilities. Seventy-eight percent of sites had assigned IPC officers although only 43% underwent required predeployment training. Hand hygiene and healthcare associated infection prevention bundles were monitored at 67% and 29% of MTFs, respectively. Several challenges including variability in practices with turnover of deployed teams were noted. Successes highlighted included individual team improvements in healthcare associated infections and mentorship of untrained personnel. Conclusions: Despite successes, ongoing challenges with optimal deployed IPC were noted. Recommendations for improvement include strengthening IPC culture, accountability, predeployment training, and stateside support for deployed IPC assets. Variability in IPC practices may occur from rotation to rotation, and regular reassessment is required to ensure that successes are sustained through times of turnover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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