ICPs Share Infection Prevention Ideas and Strategies at 2nd Annual ICT Conference on Professional Development

SAN DIEGO Infection prevention and control nurses, managers, and directors participated in three days of seminars, networking events and exhibits at the second annual ICT Conference on Professional Development, held at the Bahia Resort Hotel on MissionBay in San Diego Jan. 15-18. The conference was produced by Virgo Publishing, publisher of Infection Control Today (ICT) magazine and producer of the Infection Control Education Institute.

"I am thrilled with the strong attendance and participation from healthcare professionals and industry alike, says Bill Eikost, publisher of ICT. It represents the best of what healthcare has to offer and shows the impact infection control professionals can make on healthcare. The current and future development of these professionals will be through conferences like this -- one where they put their clinical knowledge to use while developing their strength as influencers to reduce not only infection rates and the length of a hospital stay, but also contribute to the bottom line of hospitals and healthcare institutions."

Infection prevention and control professionals are facing innumerable challenges relating to protecting their patients, their healthcare organizations, and even their communities from the impacts of infections, says conference chair Kelly M. Pyrek, editor of ICT and group editor of the Virgo Publishing Medical Group. We wanted this conference to supply attendees with the tools and knowledge they need to improve their level of performance personally and professionally.

The conference provided attendees with an opportunity to learn from experts in the field, network with their peers, and gain new insights into hot topics such as making the business case for infection prevention, the true costs of non-compliance, keeping abreast of public reporting mandates, and much more. To help them excel in their jobs, many of the sessions addressed the importance of ICPs meeting oncoming challenges such as active surveillance and performance improvement, as well as breaking down internal barriers, managing time and resources efficiently, communicating effectively with peers and stakeholders, conducting proper risk assessments and following pertinent guidelines, and creating strong alliances to advance infection control programs. To view the agenda from this years conference, go to: http://www.ictconference.com/agenda.html

Lectures from industry experts were supplemented with interactive sessions; Gripe Night gave attendees the opportunity to discuss issues informally with their colleagues, while the ICP Roundtable gathered participants into small groups to address common infection control challenges. Microbe Mania was a fun, fast-paced activity designed to test attendees knowledge of common and not-so-common pathogens and the disease they cause.

Sponsors of this years event were CHG/Saniguard and the Glo Germ Co., and 23 companies from the infection prevention marketplace were on hand to share with attendees their innovative products and services that are helping to curb healthcare-associated infections. To view a list of companies that exhibited, go to: http://www.ictconference.com/exhibitor.html

Attendees participated in a Passport Program that encouraged interaction with vendors during exhibit hours; the winner of a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card was Joan Jenne, RN, BSN, CIC, of St. Lukes Hospital in St. Louis. The winners of various Glo Germ products were Tara Steitz of Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas; Karen Maceno of Kaiser Permanente; Cindy Bennett of Alvarado Hospital; June Hintz of Landmark Surgery Center; Judy Lamphron of Avera McKennan; Barb Brown of Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center; Bessie Bryant of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; Pat Shea of Bend Surgery Center; and Nancy Harless of Caromont Health.

I really thought last year's inaugural conference could not be topped but this one proved me wrong, says Patricia Streeter, RN, CIC, infection control specialist at St. Marys Hospital in Amsterdam, N.Y.  Every speaker was wonderful, and thoroughly knowledgeable in his/her subject matter and even better in presentation. Each gave important information and helpful hints to making my job much easier and also provided insight into the value of the work I do daily as an ICP. The Bahia was a wonderful choice of location; the food was great and the accommodations elegant. The vendors were exceptional and I truly look forward to the third annual event in 2009. Thanks for providing a great resource in your dynamic publication and in this venue of terrific speakers.

The conference faculty included some of the industrys best and brightest minds and was comprised of Libby Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, of IC Solutions, LLC; Connie Steed, MSN, RN, CIC, director of infection control for Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center; Linda L. Spaulding RN, C, CIC, of InCo & Associates; Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, infection control manager for Via Health Rochester General Hospital; Ann-Marie Pettis, RN, BSN, infection prevention specialist at Highland Hospital; Gail Bennett, RN, MSN, CIC, executive director of ICP Associates, LLC; Shannon Oriola, RN, CIC, COHN, lead infection control practitioner for the Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus; and Frank Myers, CIC, CPHQ, director of clinical epidemiology and safety systems for Scripps Mercy Hospital.  

"The conference was great," says Linda Greene, who delivered several presentations for the second consecutive year of the event. "The theme of professional development is a much-needed one, and I heard so many positive comments. Even we experienced folks took away some valuable ideas."

I thoroughly enjoyed the ICT conference in San Diego this year. The speakers were knowledgeable and the sessions so informative, says Teri Koch, RN, BSN, CIC, infection control officer for Freeman Health System . The Gripe Night session was great, as was Microbe Mania. It was fun to talk to other ICPs and hear that they are grappling with the same issues that I deal with. This was a wonderful experience for anyone who is interested in professional development in our field. Everyone I talked to that attended felt the same way that I did. ICT did a fantastic job putting this conference together.

The conference helped me put together some very difficult concepts, says Anne Peterson, RN, BSN, PHN, infection control specialist for Antelope Valley Healthcare District. I know youve heard the saying you cant see the forest for the trees. Well, Im seeing through the trees (data I collect and report) to the big picture (the total infection control program) thanks to you and your wonderful speakers. I will highly recommend your seminar.

In addition to the ICT Conference and ICT magazine, Virgo Publishings Medical Group also produces the todays surgicenter conference, Sept 18-20, 2008, in Las Vegas, as well as EndoNurse, Renal Business Today, Immediate Care Business and todays surgicenter magazines.