We often get asked what other institutions are doing for their infection control and outbreak detection and how many are actually using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) routinely for outbreak transmission investigations. Well, the answer is…. complicated…
Integrating WGS routinely into every outbreak investigation could be costly. It could take time and building a robust platform that can handle every investigation may require heavy upfront investment and re-thinking of staff hiring strategy. Very few of our customers apply WGS for all of their investigations. Frankly, there are only a handful of institutions that are that forward-thinking and have the financial means to take up that endeavor at scale and they typically do so by leveraging other WGS-based capabilities in their institution.
That doesn’t mean that the rest are left behind. In fact, the most astute infection control teams we work with apply a mix of tools and strategies to deal with a variety of incidents that come their way and choose their response based on the urgency, complexity, and impact their investigation may have. Therefore, the choice of using WGS methods could be applied when extreme accuracy is required, or when there is a persistent outbreak that requires more definitive results. It is also often used for outbreak situations that pose significant risk and are life-threatening to patients or when the downstream financial implications are high. In those cases, more information can make the difference between winning or losing the battle. What do you use to support your decisions when the stakes are high?
We think you should have the option to use WGS-based solutions for healthcare-associated infection situations if they are appropriate. These capabilities should be in every infection control toolkit and readily available. Do you have those capabilities readily available if the need arises?
Our epiXact® team is always standing by and ready to provide you with answers within 24-48 hours potentially saving your institution money by providing the data needed to implement targeted interventions or call them off when not needed.
Not all transmission events are the same, so don’t apply the same solution for all, and don’t be caught off guard without knowledge of and access to the most advanced solutions at your disposal. Contact us now to learn more so you can be ready when you need accurate and rapid answers.