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WASHINGTON, D.C. — To articulate the expanding roles of its members, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced that infection control professionals will now be referred to as “infection preventionists.” This newly created term joins the list of professional titles such as hospitalists, intensivists and interventionists introduced by the healthcare industry over the past several years.
Infection preventionists direct interventions that protect patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in clinical and other settings around the world. They work with clinicians and administrators to improve patient and systems-level outcomes and reduce HAIs and related adverse events.
“The term infection preventionist clearly and effectively communicates who our members are and what they do,” said Kathy Warye, APIC’s CEO. “Infection preventionists develop and direct performance improvement initiatives that save lives and resources for healthcare facilities, so this was a natural transition – or a right-sizing of the name – to more accurately reflect their role. By creating a new word, we hope to raise awareness about what infection preventionists uniquely contribute to patient safety, improved outcomes and bottom line savings to healthcare institutions.”
APIC also introduced a new corporate logo and tagline which encapsulate the organization’s global reach and focus on prevention: "Spreading knowledge. Preventing infection." The new elements are the result of months of research and development by APIC's Branding Task Force and are designed to promote infection preventionists as a separate and distinct profession, whose members are poised for leadership roles in healthcare.
“The new name reflects our strategic vision for the future of the practice and the profession,” said Cathryn Murphy, RN, MPH, PHD, CIC, APIC board member and associate professor at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. “With a declining arsenal of effective antibiotics, it was increasingly clear that the traditional orientation toward the control of HAIs needed to shift to one where preventing their occurrence was the priority. APIC leads efforts in promoting HAI prevention and provides members with resources to help them set and reach ambitious goals for reduction of HAIs within their institutions. Our Targeting Zero initiative encourages all organizations to embrace the concept of prevention and bring HAIs to an irreducible minimum.”