Officials Report More Infection Control Needed in Illinois Health Facilities

Illinois surgery centers are under the microscope after state health officials found numerous violations of infection control standards. The Illinois Department of Public Health is mandating that these types of widely used outpatient facilities be more in line with hospital regulations. The inspections have been prompted by other state infection scares and national initiatives such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Healthcare-Associated Infections objectives for Healthy People 2020.

“We want people to know there is regulatory oversight of these types of facilities and that we are closely monitoring infection control,” said Bill Bell, the division chief for Health Care Facilities and Programs for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

His team went to state facilities unannounced and tracked a patient’s surgery through all the steps rather than merely looking at the facility’s guidelines on infection control. In 2010, almost 76 percent of these facilities had infection control violations. The latest inspections found facilities with the following violations:
– Inadequate sterilization and cleaning practices
– Reuse of needles, syringes, and vials
– Improper or no labeling
– Improper use of personal protective equipment
– No investigation into why a doctor’s patients had a high frequency of post-op infections
– No regular training on infection control
– No qualified person in charge of infection control program
– Infections not reported

These incidents put patients at risk for contracting infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that errors involving injection processes, equipment cleaning errors, and inadequate environmental cleaning increase the risk of infections. Better communication between nurses and environmental services workers in regards to what is being cleaned after procedures is key. Proper labeling of vials, syringes, and other containers is also crucial.

Not only do surgery centers need to be mindful of their infection control procedures, but long-term care facilities, end-stage renal disease facilities, and hospitals must be vigilant about mitigating the chance of patient and worker infections. The CDC recommends personnel to have “…sufficient and appropriate equipment and supplies necessary for the consistent observation of standard precautions, including hand hygiene products, injection equipment, and personal protective equipment.”

The HHS’ Healthcare-Associated Infections goal for Healthy People 2020 is to ultimately reduce infections related to health care facilities. Infections cause many preventable deaths, serious injuries, and increased medical costs. The HHS is “…particularly concerned about central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.” When prevention practices are in place the HHS estimates that 70 percent of infections can be reduced, saving at least $25 billion.

When a patient’s life is compromised because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, they can take legal action. Patients are owed a reasonable standard of care, no matter what type of facility they go to or what procedure they have. The Chicago personal injury lawyer Robert I. Briskman is accomplished in holding health care facilities, staff, and their insurance companies accountable for their mistakes that caused the infection. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg will investigate every route to get their client compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. The Chicago personal injury lawyers are respected by their clients, peers, and the courts for their years of service throughout Chicagoland. To learn more, visit or call 877-595-HURT (4878).

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
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Robert Briskman is a Chicago personal injury lawyer and Chicago personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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