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The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality have collaborated to create an interactive, web-based, educational training program focusing on proper personal protective equipment (PPE) use for healthcare personnel caring for patients with Ebola.
The program includes educational modules on crucial areas related to healthcare worker safety when caring for patients with Ebola. The modules are designed to help institutions develop in-person training to promote adherence to the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on PPE for Ebola. They include a focus on the proper donning of PPE, safe removal of PPE, and the important role of teamwork and the trained observer in keeping healthcare workers safe during these steps. The modules utilize concepts of human factors engineering to address potential safety failures such as limited space in healthcare facilities, exhausted healthcare personnel, and more.
At the request of the CDC, APIC and the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality brought together a 40-member multidisciplinary team of experts from CDC, academic institutions, and professional associations who developed the training program. Pamela Falk, MPH, FSHEA, CIC, an infection preventionist consultant, acted as APIC’s representative. Falk was involved in CDC’s Train-the-Trainers courses for healthcare personnel deployed to West Africa and has extensive experience in the proper donning and doffing of PPE.
“Infection preventionists have been working around the clock to prepare clinicians for Ebola by training and disseminating information,” says Pamela Falk, MPH, FSHEA, CIC. “This innovative program will assist IPs in training healthcare personnel on proper PPE use through visual demonstrations put in the context of CDC’s new PPE guidance. We hope this new interactive training helps lighten the burden of our infection preventionists so they can focus not only on Ebola, but on the surveillance of other dangerous healthcare-associated infections such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), MRSA, and C. difficile.”
The modules are available free of charge on the CDC’s website; later, the training will also be available via iTunes U.
APIC recently released results of a survey of infection preventionists which showed that many hospitals lack infection prevention personnel and resources to combat Ebola.