Bedbug Mitigation Efforts Enhanced by Addressing Field Staff Concerns to Exposure


Impact Statement: 
Cerro Gordo Health Department decreased fear levels of bed bug exposure among field staff. The implementation of a risk reduction plan minimized staff discomfort and facilitated a more effective intervention to bed bug exposure in the community.

The project's aim was to create and implement an initial risk reduction plan to minimize exposure to bedbugs. The plan would reduce internal fear levels (measured on a scale of 1 to 10) among Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health (CG Health) field staff. The aim was determined after quality improvement (QI) techniques identified fears and emerging fear themes related to lack of standardization among staff, lack of knowledge among staff and community members, and the difficulty of bedbug treatment. After weighing activities based on impact and feasibility criteria, a department-wide risk reduction protocol was created to address exposure to bedbugs in the workplace. This protocol included a standardized assessment for new home clients, an internal reporting process for staff, and an internal education plan. As part of the project, "pest field kits" were created for employees. The kits consist of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize bedbug exposure in homes. Likewise, an internal reporting document was created for all future bedbug cases. The protocol specifies employer and employee obligations. If an employee contracts bedbugs in the workplace and follows the obligations stated, procedures are conducted, and CG Health then covers the cost of bedbug treatment for that particular case. In addition to the new internal bedbug protocol, the decrease of CG Health field staff fear levels led to visible benefits. 

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
CG Health

Willems, J. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Bedbug Mitigation Efforts Enhanced by Addressing Field Staff Concerns to Exposure. Fri, 10/28/2016 - 13:16. Available at Accessed May 23, 2024.

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