To help patients, families and healthcare professionals understand their role in preventing infections, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today announced a new multi-year education and awareness effort.
The Infection Prevention and You campaign launches in conjunction with International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), Oct. 20-26, 2013. The centerpiece of the campaign is a new website (www.apic.org/infectionpreventionandyou) with content and resources for both patients and healthcare professionals, designed to simply and clearly convey important infection prevention and patient safety information. The patients and families tab provides tips, tools, and links to reputable sources of information to promote infection prevention in every setting -- healthcare facilities, at work, at school, on vacation and even at home. The healthcare professionals tab is designed for healthcare workers who are not infection preventionists – providing basic information on how to keep patients safe, regardless of their jobs within healthcare organizations.
“It’s unfortunate but true that one in 20 patients will develop an infection as a result of their healthcare. As patient safety advocates, APIC wants to empower patients, families, and healthcare professionals to speak up and take action to prevent infections,” says Carol McLay, RN, MPH, DrPH, CIC, chair of APIC’s Communications Committee who helped develop the campaign.
The campaign also features a one-page infographic illustrating the steps patients can take to support infection prevention efforts in healthcare facilities and help lower their risk of infection. It communicates three main points: what patients and families can do to play an active role in their care; what healthcare-associated infections are, and who the infection preventionist is. The infographic is available on APIC’s website for easy sharing on social media and is being distributed in printed form with the fall edition of APIC’s member magazine Prevention Strategist.
“Our goal is to disseminate this information on a broad scale. We’d like to see the infographic posted in every patient care area and included in every hospital admission packet,” says McLay. “We are asking people to read it, use it, and share it.”
“We are thrilled by the engagement of our APIC chapters at the grassroots level in promoting infection prevention within their communities,” says Katrina Crist, MBA, APIC CEO. “In addition, we welcome the association partners and corporate champions who are broadening the reach of our message through support of International Infection Prevention Week. They are hosting creative activities to promote and encourage patient safety, which helps build momentum and adds tremendous impact to our efforts.”