Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 15(3) July 2012 : 66-72.doi:10.12927/hcq.2013.23037
Infection Control

Collateral Impact of a Hospital Outbreak of Clostridium difficile: An Unrecognized Surge Event Requiring a System-Level Response

Michael D. Christian


This paper discusses a unique surge event caused by an outbreak of Clostridium difficile, resulting not from an increase in the demands on the healthcare system but, rather, from a substantial decrease in the capacity to provide care when the medical capacity in the facility was decreased by 50% due to bed closures. Approaches to managing the situation using the staff, stuff and space paradigm are presented as strategies to prevent future adverse medical events.



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