What your Infection Preventionist can teach you

Andrea Ricci

Over the weekend of June 11th, RLDatix packed its bags and headed over to Charlotte, NC for the annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. We love attending conferences because it’s a great opportunity for us to meet people in the industry, exhibit our products and attend sessions. 

Interestingly enough, we couldn’t help some but notice similarities in what's trending for infection preventionists (IPs) and what quality and patient safety staff have been talking about for some time. 

Trend #1: Getting staff to take a more ‘hands-on’ role  

It is no secret that front-line staff are your best resource when it comes to preventing the spread of healthcare-acquired infections. Beyond handwashing, a presentation at APIC 2016 on the role of the staff nurse in antimicrobial stewardship outlined some assets that IPs can bring to antimicrobial stewardship, and addressed the scope of antimicrobial resistance in hospitals. 

Additionally, a session on one healthcare system’s success in regards to implementing CAUTI prevention practices outlines strategies to engage front-line staff and leadership to align efforts across the organization to produce attainable changes. CMS has long mandated that healthcare organizations reduce CAUTI infections, and there are many opportunities for shared learning. 

Trend #2: Acquiring additional resources  

Gaining leadership buy-in or funding for initiatives can sometimes be a hard sell. A session at APIC 2016 on sales and presentation skills to obtain additional resources for your infection control program outlines the tools to reinforce your system. This includes developing a persuasive presentation, and highlight the value of your infection prevention department.

In contrast, a presentation on international infection prevention and control in resources-limited settings outlined how to approach HAIs and surveillance when faced with these limitations. 

Struggling with acquiring additional resources for your infection control initiatives? You're not alone! Talk to other departments who've successfully pitched projects for tips on getting funding. 

Trend #3: Learning from others  

Case studies can be an important tool in healthcare workers ongoing education efforts. Sessions such as “The Top 10 Infection Prevention Articles of 2015” shined light on recent research findings. Topics contained within these articles include qualitative literature review of staff compliance with hand hygiene guidelines, examination of the cost-effectiveness of a hospital’s ongoing investment in preventing HAIs in an ICU and many more. 

Furthermore, a presentation on “Understanding and Interpreting Research Studies for Deciding When to Integrate Evidence into Practice” shows there is increasing focus on the importance of evidence-informed prevention strategies as well as evidence-based decision-making.

That sounds a lot like the move from volume-based care to value-based, doesn't it?

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections is everyone's responsibility. Infection Preventionists can help but their influence is lessened due to the current structure of their role. Download the whitepaper to discover how your healthcare organization can unlock the hidden potential of your IP.


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