Week-Long Event Promotes Infection Prevention Departments

Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media , October 19, 2009

The worldwide healthcare community will be observing International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) this week. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), which spearheads the effort in the U.S., is urging all states and Congress to recognize the week as a way of bringing attention to the work that infection preventionists do and the toll that infections take on patients in many healthcare settings.

"IIPW presents an opportunity to raise awareness about the important work of infection preventionists and the need for well-supported infection prevention departments," said Christine J. Nutty, RN, MSN, CIC, 2009 president of APIC. "We ask healthcare leaders to embrace the concept of prevention and promote a culture within the institution where infection prevention is part of everyone’s job."

The theme for IIPW 2009 is "Infection Prevention is Everyone's Business." In conjunction with this theme, APIC will be offering a couple of Webinars with special theme days during this week:

  • Tuesday, October 20: Collaboration
  • Wednesday, October 21: Hand hygiene
  • Thursday, October 22: Surgical site infections/operating room safety

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority announced that it would commemorate the week by offering guidance and analytical tools to the state's nursing homes, which began collecting infection data in June 2009.

To find out more about IIPW and the events that APIC is hosting surrounding the week, visit www.apic.org.

Heather Comak is a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety, as well as patient safety-related books and audio conferences. She is also is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals. Contact Heather by e-mailing hcomak@hcpro.com.

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