Infection Control's 78% Solution

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , April 19, 2012

When you're a hospital infection prevention and control official, sometimes talk around the dinner table isn't about patients, but about what to do before greeting them, like washing your hands.

"Don't they all wash their hands?" Barbara Russell, RN, MPH, CIC, director of infection control at Baptist Health of Miami, FL, recalled her mother asking.


Well, many do, but not all.

Russell talks about her job as an infection prevention and control official as being akin, in part, to being the "handwashing police," (my words, not hers).  And when she and her like-minded colleagues confront some co-workers who haven't washed their hands, they are "polite," (her words, not mine).

A major focus is to ensure hospitals have plans in place to stop infections, including the simple task of hand washing. But who monitors the infection prevention officials?

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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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