International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), which takes place Oct. 14-20, focuses public awareness on the power of infection prevention to save lives and the importance of involving consumers, healthcare professionals, organizations, and industry partners in prevention activities. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) will celebrate the annual observance with a number of planned activities and events:
• Monday, Oct. 15—Partnership in Prevention Award announcement. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, APIC, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America have collaborated to recognize one hospital that has achieved sustained reductions in healthcare-associated infections using a team approach. Learn more.
• Tuesday, Oct. 16—Certified Infection Preventionist Day. It is important for infection preventionists to demonstrate expertise and competency in the field by becoming board certified. Learn more about APIC’s Competency Advancement Assistance program to help defray costs for certification, and participate in a free APIC webinar on “Becoming Board Certified in Infection Control.”
• Wednesday, Oct. 17— New “Infection Prevention & You” materials help patients ask questions about their care and stay safe from infections in the hospital, an ambulatory care facility, long-term care facility, or while receiving healthcare services in their home. Share these new materials and engage consumers in infection prevention.
• Thursday, Oct. 18— Hand Hygiene Update. Hand hygiene is gaining increased attention from clinicians, administrators, and regulators. A free APIC webinar focuses on the latest thinking and research regarding hand hygiene efficiency and behavioral strategies.
• Friday, Oct. 19— Advocate for infection prevention. The state legislative advocacy toolkit helps guide infection preventionists in educating policymakers about how they improve healthcare in their communities.
Many other IIPW events are taking place around the country, including those organized by APIC chapters, Partner organizations, and corporate Champions.
“We are thrilled by the engagement of our chapters at the grassroots level,” said Katrina Crist, MBA, APIC CEO. “In addition, we welcome the healthcare organizations and companies who have joined IIPW as Partners and Champions. They are hosting creative activities to raise awareness and promote IIPW, which helps draw attention to this issue and adds tremendous impact to our efforts to create a patient safety movement.”
Led by APIC, IIPW aims to galvanize an infection prevention movement at the grassroots level by involving everyone in infection prevention:
• Healthcare professionals: are asked to commit as never before to follow and promote best practices.
• Consumers: are asked to take actions to prevent infections –Wash your hands; cover your cough with your elbow; and ask questions about infection prevention of care providers.
• Associations and healthcare companies: are invited to join with APIC in raising awareness through various communications channels.
APIC has launched a new website with resources and template materials, and a Facebook page to help hospitals and communities raise awareness and activate around IIPW. The website places special emphasis on the active role consumers can play and outlines three simple steps to engage patients in their care. For more information on how to become involved, visit www.apic.org/iipw.