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In response to increased awareness of infection prevention breaches in healthcare settings and in outpatient (or ambulatory care) settings in particular, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) will put special emphasis on this problem during its International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) ceremony. The Oct. 14 commemorative ceremony precedes IIPW, which occurs globally Oct. 17-23.
Promoted and organized collaboratively with 3M Health Care, IIPW highlights the infection prevention profession and its partnerships with healthcare professionals and administrators, legislators, consumers and medical manufacturers about the importance of reducing infection. Through the theme of "Infection Prevention is Everyones Business," APIC is promoting international observance of IIPW.
The Oct. 14 National Press Club event in Washington, D.C. will feature presentations from two healthcare consumers who inadvertently contracted hepatitis C following infection control breaches in two separate incidents in U.S. outpatient facilities. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Â and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)Â will provide an update on HAI prevention initiatives in outpatient settings.
During the commemorative ceremony APIC will also announce the recipient of its annual Healthcare Administrator Award honoring a healthcare CEO or administrator from an ambulatory facility who has supported infection prevention and control throughout their institution.
"The increasing reports in which clinicians all around the world inadvertently deviate from recommended infection prevention practices, often with serious consequences, highlight the need for system change, continued education and increased accountability with regard to this issue," says APIC 2010 president Cathryn Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC. "We hope that through ongoing outreach efforts, further tragedies can be avoided."
APIC will also offer a series of free webinars for health professionals Oct. 18-22 on current infection prevention topics.
"We are proud to partner with APIC on International Infection Prevention Week," says Debra Rectenwald, president and general manager of 3M's Infection Prevention Division. "Working together, we can reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections and improve the health and safety of our patients in a variety of clinical settings."
IIPW was established in the U.S. in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan who proclaimed the third week of October as National Infection Control Week and called upon all "federal, state and local government agencies, health organizations, communications, media and people" to take part in educational activities and programs. Since its creation, APIC has spearheaded the annual effort to recognize IIPW globally. It is now formally recognized in individual institutions and nationally in several countries and regions around the world including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and South East Asia.
APICs 2010 International Infection Prevention Week program is made possible with support from 3M Health Care through an unrestricted educational grant.