Gardam, Lemieux, Reason, van Dijk and Goel argue that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are "a pressing and imminent concern in the context of patient safety." Accreditation Canada supports the position taken by these authors. The prevention and control of two HAIs of great concern, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile, are an integral part of the Accreditation Canada program. A coordinated approach to combating HAIs and developing a culture of infection prevention and control is necessary, one that involves front-line healthcare professionals, senior leadership, national and provincial partners and the public. Since 2005, Accreditation Canada has increasingly strengthened the accreditation program in this area through a number of new strategies, including enhanced standards, required organizational practices, performance measures and indicators and the introduction of education programs. Optimizing the value of accreditation through an integrative approach with organizations' quality improvement programs will contribute to effectively combating HAIs and developing a culture of infection prevention and control.
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