A review of infection control in community healthcare: new challenges but old foes

W. G. Mackay, K. Smith, C. Williams, C. Chalmers, R. Masterton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The demographics of the healthcare population are changing, with an ever-greater proportion of people being treated outside the traditional hospital setting through community healthcare. This shift in the way that healthcare is delivered raises new concerns over community healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). A literature search between 2000 and December 2013 was conducted in databases including PubMed, SciVerse ScienceDirect and Google Scholar. National and international guideline and policy documents were searched using Google. Many terms were used in the literature searches, including 'nosocomial', 'healthcare infection', 'community' and 'nursing home'. The rates of HCAI in community healthcare are similar to the rates found in the acute hospital setting, but the types of infection differ, with a greater focus on urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the community and ventilator-associated pneumonias in the hospital setting. Patients who acquire a community HCAI are more likely to exhibit reduced physical condition, have increased levels of morbidity and have higher mortality rates than individuals without infection. Infection control programmes have been developed worldwide to reduce the rates of hospital HCAIs. Such interventions are equally as valid in the community, but how best to implement them and their subsequent impact are much less well understood. The future is clear: HCAIs in the community are going to become an ever-increasing burden and it is critical that our approach to these infections is brought quickly in line with present hospital sector standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2121-2130
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Early online date4 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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