Perspectives on research needs in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship: What's on the Horizon - Part II

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In this overview, we articulate research needs and opportunities in the field of infection prevention that have been identified from insights gained during operative infection prevention work, our own research in healthcare epidemiology, and from reviewing the literature. The 10 areas of research need are: 1) Transmissions and interruptions, 2) personal protective equipment and other safety issues in occupational health, 3) climate change and other crises, 4) device, diagnostic, and antimicrobial stewardship, 5) implementation and deimplementation, 6) healthcare outside the acute care hospital, 7) low- and middle-income countries, 8) networking with the neighbors, 9) novel research methodologies, and 10) the future state of surveillance. An introduction and chapters 1-5 are presented in part I of the article and chapters 6-10 and the discussion in part II. There are many barriers to advancing the field, such as finding and motivating the future IP workforce including professionals interested in conducting research, a constant confrontation with challenges and crises, the difficulty of performing studies in a complex environment, the relative lack of adequate incentives and funding streams, and how to disseminate and validate the often very local quality improvement projects. Addressing research gaps now (i.e., in the post-pandemic phase) will make healthcare systems more resilient when facing future crises.
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