A New Year, New Issues, and New Resolve to Fight Infections

Its a new year, so of course everyones talking about making a list of resolutions. If youre like me, you get out last years list and resolve to do better. My list doesnt change much from year to year, in that I strive for excellence in all pursuits and try not to let my lapses drive me off course. Its the same with infection prevention.

While you strive for zero, infections will inevitably occur; that doesnt mean you abandon your prevention and control campaign. It means you identify the breach in aseptic practice, determine the contributing factors, and establish methods for addressing and correcting this breach. Your list of New Years resolutions might contain the action item of eradicating MRSA, or at least putting this pathogen on notice that it has outworn its welcome in your healthcare institution.

That was definitely the consensus of the exceedingly informative MRSA conference sponsored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) held in Atlanta in early November. Several hundred infection control practitioners (ICPs) and public health experts convened to identify and discuss new strategies to eliminate MRSA transmission. In 2006, APIC called upon its members to lead efforts in addressing MRSA infections, and this years event marked the communitys progress on that initiative, and introduced the data culled from APICs landmark MRSA prevalence study. The conference was held during the height of the medias MRSA frenzy, and so it was a particularly timely opportunity for a reality check and a reminder that ICPs must remain the voice of reason during these kinds of melt-downs.

MRSA is just one of the hot issues we explore in our Infection Prevention Industry Update, beginning on page 10. From the new Medicare regulations to new infection prevention-related legislation, well help you make sense of the biggest news-makers in the industry right now. Dont miss my conversation with Kathy Warye, executive director of APIC, who addresses everything from MRSA to mandatory reporting and everything in between thats on the minds of ICPs in 2008. All of us here at ICT look forward to an ambitious year of covering these pressing issues, so stay with us as we dive into a deeper discourse throughout the coming 12 months.

The issue of ICT that you are holding in your hands is the one we are distributing at the second annual ICT Conference on Professional Development, Jan. 15-18, an event designed to give ICPs the tools and skills they need to improve performance in their professional and personal lives. Escape the winter blahs and join us in sunny San Diego for three days of learning from expert ICPs and networking in a relaxed, intimate setting. Its not too late to register; for more information, visit www.ictconference.com. 

I wish you all the best for the new year, and thank you for being a part of the ICT family.

Until next month, bust those bugs!

Kelly M. Pyrek 
Group Editor, Virgo Publishing Medical Group kpyrek@vpico.com