“Doc-in-box” medical clinics raise risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases


“Doc-in-box” medical clinics raise risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases

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With the proliferation of “doc-in-box” medical clinics and other out-patient healthcare and diagnostic centers throughout the US, the potential for outbreaks of infectious diseases, including drug-resistant “super bugs” in these centers is also increasing.

This, according to Marlene Linders, an expert on the monitoring and control of dangerous pathogens in hospitals and other public places, and president of Philders Group, a healthcare consulting/business development firm headquartered in Florida.

“Hospitals and other large healthcare institutions are recognizing the critical importance of keeping their facilities as clean and germ-free as possible,” Linders said, “but the growth of neighborhood out-patient centers and walk-in clinics is creating new challenges of cleanliness and germ suppression for the owners and staffs of these facilities.”

Linders said Philders Group has just completed a “high level audit” of a diagnostic center in South Florida in alliance with Golder & Associates, a global environmental health and safety company that represents the diagnostic center’s owner, a national health insurer. The pilot audit was to done, Linders said, to determine whether or not the center would meet federal guidelines and compliance requirements set by the Affordable Care Act.

“We examined a number of areas in the center – ordinary places personnel not trained to hospital standards might overlook – and discovered concerns; discrepancies in everything from lack of training programs and policy for infection control, pest management, lack of policy for crucial areas such as environmental services, disaster recovery, water management and exposure plans,” Linders said.

Healthcare, US, Marlene Linders