APIC Lands Contract to Lead HAI Prevention Programs in Pennsylvania

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has been selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to lead two new healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) prevention initiatives. The activities, which are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Acts (ARRA) Epidemiology and Laboratory and Capacity Program (ELC) grants, will continue through December 2011.

"APIC is pleased to be partnering with health leaders in Pennsylvania to strengthen efforts to prevent HAIs," says Kathy Warye, chief executive officer of APIC. "The contract reflects APICs increasing collaboration with state HAI prevention partners, as well as our capacity to manage large-scale, multi-faceted projects."

The first set of activities involves a data review program in which APIC will examine the accuracy and consistency of the data reported by acute care hospitals in Pennsylvania to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) HAI monitoring system, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). APIC will also conduct hospital audits targeting central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). APIC has developed similar data review processes for the state of New Jersey and the state of Maryland. These projects are being developed by APIC Consulting Services.

In the second part of the grant activity, APIC will lead two HAI prevention collaboratives. A healthcare collaborative is a voluntary group of diverse stakeholders who come together to address a specific issue. Because the structure of a collaborative is less formal than traditional associations and usually only meets for a specific period of time, it has become an effective tool to support interdisciplinary problem solving and information sharing among those who struggle with the front-line issues of HAI prevention.

The first HAI prevention collaborative, already underway by the Healthcare Improvement Foundation, will focus on supporting and expanding C. difficile prevention in the southeast region of Pennsylvania. A cause of diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions, C. difficile infection appears to be increasing rapidly in the U.S. The second collaborative will assist acute-care clinicians in addressing surgical site infection prevention in southwest region hospitals. APIC will support these new groups through networking, webinars, meetings and distribution of essential association resources, including elimination guides and the APIC Text Online. APIC will host a final meeting in late 2011 to showcase the success strategies and outcomes achieved by each group.

Recruitment for both collaboratives is now underway. Membership is open to all interested clinicians in the southwest or southeast Pennsylvania regions. Contact Marilyn Hanchett at: [email protected] for more information.

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