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Toolkit to Assist Physicians with Patient Notification Developed

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a toolkit designed to assist health departments and health care facilities to notify patients of an infection control lapse or disease transmission; the toolkit was presented during a workshop at the annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, held June 8-10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Researchers from the CDC developed the toolkit for notifying patients after an infection control lapse or potential disease transmission during medical care.

The CDC noted that, regardless of the circumstances surrounding individual incidents, the subsequent communication needs are consistent and predictable. Resources and templates in the toolkit are designed to facilitate a swift and effective notification process. The toolkit, which is designed to be comprehensive, is intended for personnel at local and state health departments and health care facilities that conduct patient notifications for incidences caused by infection control breaches. The toolkit comprises four sections: sample materials to assist with creating a notification letter; information relating to planning media and communication strategies; establishing communication resources in support of patient notification; and strategies for releasing patient notification letters and how to work with the media.

According to the CDC, "this toolkit is intended to be used after a health department or health care facility decides to notify patients of their potential exposure to infectious organisms due to an unsafe practice or infection control breach. It offers resources and template materials to facilitate the notification process as well as some essential tips and strategies. This toolkit is not designed to assist with investigating a potential outbreak."

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