198204 Call for a New Standard for Water Quality in Health Care Facilities

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:32 AM

Zigmond Kozicki, DHA, MA, MSHA , MidMichgan Neuropsychology, Saginaw, MI
There is a growing awareness about the threat to patient safety from exposure to contaminated water in health care facilities. Health care facilities contain vulnerable populations with diminished immune function who are especially likely to acquire a nosocomial infection. Contaminated water contributes to increased morbidity and mortality.

Most health care water systems do not regulated for all pathogens. When testing is performed it may be limited to only a select pathogen such as Legionella. Despite the fact that Cryptosporidium parvum wreaks havoc worldwide and the Giardia parasite is the most common intestinal parasite worldwide, infecting an estimated 200 million people each year. Even in the United States each year, about 250 people in every 10,000 contract giardiasis from public drinking water.

Throughout the world municipal distribution systems allow undesirable pollutants to infiltrate clean water. These pollutants include pharmaceuticals, volatile organic compounds, microbes and other chemicals. Health care facilities usually rely on municipal water systems to provide safe drinking, bathing and cleaning water for their facility.

The United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. However, national statistics don't tell you specifically about the quality and safety of the water coming into each health care facility. That's because water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives. There are cost effective methods to test and treat the water quality in health care facilities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Develop awareness of the threat that untreated municipal water has in causing nosocomial infections. 2. Increase knowledge and understanding of the available technology to test and screen for water borne pathogens in the health care facilities water systems. 3. Develop ability to create policy and procedures to manage water quality in the health care facility. 4. Become part of a network of people who are committed to creating a new worldwide standard for water quality in health care facilities.

Keywords: Water Quality, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently involved in research through Central Michigan University studying Healthcare Acquired Infections. This research is to complete requirements for the Doctor of Health Care Administration Degree. I plan to complete my research October 1, 2009. These results would be made available to the APHA. I am Director of the Great Lakes Water Research Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.