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Outbreak Response and Incident Management: SHEA Guidance and Resources for Healthcare Epidemiologists in United States Acute-Care Hospitals

Published: Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology ; 2017 ; 38 : 1393 -1419


This expert guidance document was developed as a resource to provide healthcare epidemiologists working in acute-care hospitals with a high-level overview of incident management for infectious diseases outbreaks and to prepare them to work within an emergency response framework. It addresses how the epidemiologist’s skills and expertise apply to scenarios that require enhanced preparedness and response efforts, eg, when pathogens associated with outbreaks are poorly characterized or when outbreaks require additional interventions including, but not limited to, healthcare personnel education, enhanced infection prevention and control measures, added staffing, supplies, and resources, adjustments to clinical and support activities, and external communications. Its recommendations are not pathogen-specific and are meant to apply to a range of potential infectious diseases outbreaks. To provide high-level guidance and context for incident management, the authors specify recommendations for the healthcare epidemiologist, as well as involvement and responsibilities of the facility and other healthcare personnel (HCP).

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For information on the recommendations of this guideline, please visit the full guideline.

Additional Resources

*For information on additional resources, please contact the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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