Since 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been publishing Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infections as a useful reference tool in infection control. The extent to which practices recommended by CDC to reduce hospital-acquired infections have been successfully diffused and adopted were evaluated in a stratified random sample of 445 US hospitals that were sent a questionnaire in 1985. The data suggest that over 84% of infection control practitioner respondents (78% response rate) are aware of each guideline, although small hospitals (less than 50 beds) are least likely to be aware of the guidelines or to have reviewed them thoroughly. Adoption of the recommendations remains far from universal, ranging from 23% to 75% for 16 specific recommendations investigated. Smaller hospitals were significantly less likely than large hospitals to have adopted each suggested policy. Recommendations that carried Category I rankings were more likely to be adopted, as were those procedures that had cost-savings implications.
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