Infection Control's 78% Solution

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , April 19, 2012

Beyond Handwashing
Russell says one of the best things a hospital can do to improve infection control monitoring is to hire a certified infection prevention official, as she is.


Most are nurses, but the category also includes microbiologists and physicians.  Certification requires up to two years of training about infection control. 

A recent study  in California showed that only 89 of 174 control directors, about half, were certified in infection control, which suggests that evaluations of infections may not be as good as they should be.

Russell estimates that about one-third of hospitals nationwide have certified infection prevention officials. "It's like having a certified cardiologist or internist; it shows [that] this person is not the new kid on the block, but someone who has really delved into the issue and knows it," Russell says. "By being part of such a group, you are able to learn from each other and share what you are doing, or have done, to reduce (infection) rates—which another participant could also try." 

The study in question was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

"We found that having an infection control director certified in infection prevention was associated with lower rates of MRSA bloodstream infections," Monika Pogorzelska, PhD, MPH, told HealthLeaders Media. She is associate research scientist, P-NICER study director at the Columbia University School of Nursing and a co-author of the study.

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2 comments on "Infection Control's 78% Solution"

KyBrBe (5/1/2012 at 7:18 PM)
As an infection control professional with 12 years experience, I am insulted with the implication that I am less capable or knowledgeable simply because I don't have their piece of paper!! I am not in an environment that would support the cost or the time of obtaining the certificate every 2 years - but that does NOT mean that I don't know my job or take any steps possible to ensure that I have the skills necessary to protect my staff and patients.

Howard (4/20/2012 at 2:51 PM)
Interesting article. I'm for anything that'll improve infection control without violating civil liberties.




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