ICT and Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions Announce Nursing Conference at 2017 FIME


Infection Control Today is partnering with Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions to bring to the medical community a nursing conference dedicated to addressing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) related to medical devices. The event, which will offer 5.0 contact hours of nursing continuing education, will be held Aug. 10, 2017, concurrent with the Florida International Medical Expo (FIME), now in its 27th year, the largest medical trade fair across the Americas. FIME, kicking off on Aug. 8 and running through Aug. 10, 2017, will welcome more than 22,000 medical and healthcare trade professionals from North, Central and South America, as well as from across the globe, to do business with 1,500-plus national and international companies showcasing new and refurbished medical and hospital equipment, technology, products and supplies.

The faculty of the nursing conference at FIME represents the nursing, public health, infection prevention and microbiology thought leaders, and these speakers will discuss the imperatives of their respective areas of expertise.

Loretta Litz Fauerbach, MS, FSHEA, FAPIC, CIC, a certified infection preventionist with Fauerbach & Associates of Gainesville, Fla., will discuss infection prevention in the acute-care environment. "Preventing HAIs has made giant strides that no one would have thought possible two decades ago," says Fauerbach. "Significant decreases in device-related infections and surgical site infections have been reported by the CDC’s NHSN, the national healthcare-associated surveillance system. These impressive improvements are good and healthcare teams should be proud of their efforts.  Bedside care and unit teams have embraced prevention and made a difference for the patient. Nonetheless, we must continue to build on these successes to create new prevention strategies for the future. Collaboration between all members of a healthcare team and the infection prevention team (the infection preventionist and the hospital epidemiologist) remains essential to translate research into practice and to create the ultimate patient safety environment."

Fauerbach adds, "Healthcare researchers and their industry partners have created new devices and products which have contributed to the success of HAI prevention initiatives. The introduction of the following items, to name just a few, have helped the care provider reduce the risk of HAIs: antimicrobial intravenous catheters (IV) and other parts of the IV system, antimicrobial dressings, antiseptic packaging that facilitates use and delivery of agent to site, devices to secure catheters both IV and urological catheters, and better design of packaging to help maintain the sterility of the product when opening the package. New disinfecting agents that reduce the contact time improve the effective of cleaning. Additionally, new technologies such as vaporized hydrogen peroxide technology and UV light technology provide secondary disinfection/sterilization of the environment. These technologies have reduced/eliminated cross-contamination of the environment with MDROs, C. difficile and other bacterial or fungal spore formers, and emerging viral pathogens. As new technology continues to be brought to the market, individual systems and infection control teams will need to evaluate the need and effectiveness of these new products in their facility. Using human factor engineering and management engineering principles will help them to determine the best way to incorporate new technology into their arena. Finally, industry and healthcare providers need to collaborate to fund and expand research to develop better devices and products to help prevent HAIs. It will be important for the research to not only include device and antiseptic and disinfection/sterilization technologies but also human factor and management engineering principles plus the psychology of behavioral changes and team-building."

Addressing infection prevention in the ambulatory care environment and other sites will be Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president of Infection Control Consulting Services of Delray Beach, Fla. "Infection prevention has extended way beyond the acute-care hospital setting and is a vital part of patient safety across the continuum of care," Segal says. "Infections related to medical devices have been particularly challenging over the course of the past few years. Nurses on the front lines in all settings play a key role in understanding the challenges and how to improve processes to prevent these infections in a team-like manner." She adds, "Infections related to medical devices traverse the continuum of care with special attention needed in the ambulatory and other non-acute care settings where attention has not been focused on medical device related infections until fairly recently. Healthcare workers need to understand that strict following of manufacturer instructions for use is imperative. Use of medical devices, maintenance and reprocessing are key areas in preventing infections of this nature."

Donna Swenson, an independent consultant as well as president/CEO of Sterile Processing Quality Services Inc., of Stickney, Ill., will talk about the importance of partnering with industry on medical device design and cleaning, and says that the many challenges relating to reprocessing of medical devices and these challenges are going to increase in the years to come. "Healthcare facilities need to step up and improve their processes for reprocessing of reusable medical devices. Not only is it necessary for healthcare facilities to follow manufacturer's instructions for reprocessing (cleaning, disinfection and sterilization) it is also necessary for healthcare facilities to validate their reprocessing procedures for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization.

Also at the FIME nursing conference, several chief nursing officers will lend their perspectives on clinical, fiscal and operational issues relating to HAIs. Medical device utilization and the need for greater collaboration between stakeholders. Addressing the stewardship and standardization of medical equipment across a healthcare system will be Kathy Black, MSN, RN, NE-NBC, chief nursing officer at Dr. P Phillips Hospital within Orlando Health; and discussing quality measures to ensure reprocessing of medical devices such as endoscopes, will be Georgia Sands, RN, MSN, CIC, infection preventionist, Clinical Quality, Cleveland Clinic Florida in Ft Lauderdale, Fla. It is essential that all members of the medical community work together to address the ongoing challenge of HAIs.

As Black notes, "Nursing as part of the clinical team will need to consider cleaning and reprocessing of supplies and equipment moving forward as an element of purchasing new equipment and supplies." She adds that, "Standardizing care of equipment and reusable medical devices will assist with containing costs and will need to be included in the planning of new equipment at all levels. Medical device cleaning, disinfection and sterilization is no longer 'someone else’s job.' Nursing has a role in care and cleaning of medical devices. Every infection counts when it comes to patient quality and safety. Creating an environment of 'zero harm' when setting up cleaning processes for medical devices is imperative."
Black continues, "Nursing has a key role in not only that medical devices are clean and ready for each patient but that they follow the process to utilize equipment properly and at the right time to ensure that the cleaning process is given the priority and time needed. Planning and collaboration with biomed, sterile processing, scope cleaning areas and equipment rooms will be important to creating the most efficient and cost effective process that also provides the right equipment for patients."

As Fauerbach notes, "Building partnerships with the stakeholders in the facility and industry will be essential for addressing future prevention strategies. Product Evaluation Committees (PEC) with multidisciplinary membership including key stakeholders can establish a framework to evaluate new products and technology. The infection prevention team should be a standing member of the committee that evaluates each new product and device related to infection prevention: Does the product present an infection control risk? Is the device easy to clean and disinfect/sterilize? Does the product such as a disinfectant have an adequate shelf life? Are there peer review literature reports about the product or device? And does  the cost of the particular device/product offset the overall expense by preventing HAIs?  Industry can help develop product/device trials with the PEC and the specific areas that will be using it. By having an established framework to evaluate and review products and devices, the hospital/healthcare system will be able to facilitate initiatives to evaluate claims that a specific product or device reduces HAIs."

Segal emphasizes that. "Medical devices including use of and reprocessing requires buy in from key stakeholders in a multidisciplinary manner. Healthcare professionals in all arenas including those working directly in the clinical setting, administration, consultants and most importantly, industry members need to band together, to develop processes for prevention of infections."

Swenson says she hopes that more healthcare facilities will work with their sterile processing departments and medical device manufacturers to develop processes that will work at their facilities. "Expectations for sterile processing personnel need to increase beginning with requiring academic credentials and certification," she says. "I also hope that healthcare facilities will become partners with the other stakeholders to this problem, i.e. medical device manufacturers, standards organizations, regulatory agencies, professional organizations and test labs."

The FIME nursing conference is a joint endeavor of ICT and Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, which leads the healthcare portfolio within Informa’s Global Exhibitions division. It organizes 26 exhibitions yearly covering the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and U.S. market, connecting more than 150,000 healthcare professionals worldwide and offering a range of marketing solutions for companies involved with the healthcare sector. More than 100 congresses take place with the exhibitions, demonstrating Informa Life Sciences’ philosophy of "exhibition with education." Attendees are able to leverage the expertise of international experts at an extensive range of CME-accredited conferences and master classes. These powerfully educational conferences attract a diverse range of healthcare professionals, clinicians and specialists from across the globe.

Conferences are tailored to providing case studies and best practice for overcoming challenges within the healthcare industry from HAI prevention, to 3D medical printing, to technology innovations and laboratory specific conferences focused on clinical microbiology, hematology and point-of-care testing. This year, FIME will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 8-10, 2017. For more in-formation, visit www.fimeshow.com/.

This nursing continuing education activity is offered by Infection Control Today/Informa Exhibitions, an approved provider (California BRN provider #16526) by the California Board of Registered Nursing. For more details, visit https://www.fimeshow.com/en/conference/nursing-conference.html/.

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