Certification is Key in Preventing Infections

Each year, millions of patients contract infections in hospitals and other healthcare settings, creating a tremendous burden on healthcare systems and public health in general.

According to the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC), preventing these infections has the potential to save lives, reduce illness and disability, and avoid billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare expenses.

As part of International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), Oct. 17-23, 2011, CBIC will be honoring individuals certified in infection prevention and control with Certified Infection Preventionist Day on Thursday, Oct. 20. The CIC® credential, administered by CBIC, identifies healthcare professionals who have shown a mastery of knowledge in infection prevention and control.

Those who have earned their CIC certification are responsible for developing and implementing infection prevention and control measures, educating healthcare workers and the public on infection prevention, analyzing infection data to assess effectiveness of actions, and pursuing the condition of zero infections in all healthcare settings.

"CIC certification shows a commitment to best practices in infection prevention and control and improved patient care," said CBIC president Terrie B. Lee, RN, MS, MPH, CIC. "CBIC firmly supports the premise of infection prevention week that infection control is everyones business and that collaboration among stakeholders is imperative to reduce infections."

International Infection Prevention Week was established in 1986 to promote the work of infection prevention and control professionals and educate the public on the importance of preventing infection. IIPW is sponsored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (APIC) and supported by the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association Canada (CHICA-Canada), International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC), and many other association partners.

"IIPW is an important time to focus on the need for certified infection preventionists," says APIC president Russell Olmsted, CIC. "During IIPW, we strive to raise greater awareness about infection prevention and commemorate the work of healthcare professionals and administrators, legislators and consumers for their commitment to reducing infection worldwide."

The CIC credential is supported by numerous infection control organizations, including APIC, CHICA-Canada and IFIC. CHICA-Canada president Donna Weins, CIC, said. "This credential is a key initiative in our efforts to prevent healthcare acquired infections."

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. was founded in 1981 to protect the public by raising the standard of the infection prevention and control profession through the development, administration and promotion of an accredited certification process. The CIC certification is held by over 4,500 infection prevention and control professionals working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care centers, and other healthcare settings throughout the world. For more information, visit www.cbic.org