Epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (patient is community, individuals viewed collectively), and the application of (since epidemiology is a discipline within public health) this study to the control of health problems. The nature of the field of hospital epidemiology is changing. To maintain a good program, one needs to adapt to the changing environment. This means that hospital epidemiology initiatives need to take into consideration the competing priorities of all stakeholders, internal and external. This skill may determine the success of the program as much as any others in the healthcare complex environment. Hospital epidemiologists use epidemiologic methods not only for surveillance, prevention, and control of nosocomial infections, but also for applying these methods in other areas, including the epidemiology of noninfectious adverse outcomes of medical care.
Aligned to ULO(s)
ULO1: Discuss the primary applications of epidemiology in health care facilities (CLO 1)
ULO2: Explain the epidemiologic triad (CLO 4)
ULO3: Differentiate the three levels of prevention and the situations when the levels of prevention are applicable in a healthcare facility (CLO 1,4)