Infection prevention and control (IPC) is necessary to avert the spread of communicable diseases in health care settings. A basic understanding of the epidemiology of diseases, factors that increase or prevent patient susceptibility to infections, and the practices, procedures, and treatments that may lead to or mitigate against healthcare acquired infections (HAI)s are fundamental to the IPC. At any given moment, 1 in 31 hospital patients have an infection related to their care. These HAIs are the source of tens of thousands of deaths and cost the U.S. health care system billions of dollars each year. WSHA works with hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, including infection preventionists (IPs), leadership, clinicians, and specialists and many other stakeholders to reduce HAIs.
IPs come from backgrounds in nursing, medical technology, public health, medicine, and many other professions. IPs have the challenge of getting people to do the right thing 100% of the time. they accomplish this by providing managers with evidence-based best practices, data to support IP efforts, and tools to help with education and re-education of staff as needed. Many of WSH’s IPC resources have the IP as the main point of focus.
Key WSHA infection prevention activities underway include:
- Offering support for members. WSHA staff will visit on-site or virtually to review data from WSHA’s IPC Dashboard with IP’s and their IPC Team to help you with SMART goals. Follow-up visits will be provided to help support you in your progress. New or inexperienced IPs can ask for appointments for one on one time to review resources that can help you in your job in the fight against HAIs.
- Partnering with 3M to provide members with monthly expertise on preventing SSI. Members will learn from experts about best practices to prevent surgical site infections. Webinars are engaging and many offer CEUs. Sign-up is easy and you can join at any time.
- Offering newsletters and other special events for anyone who is interested in Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control. Be sure and sign up for the newsletter to keep updated on the upcoming events.
- Working with members to learn about priorities and challenges via the IPC Committee. This committee provides feedback to WSHA on member needs and priorities. The isolation signage subcommittee is currently updating the work to meet the new standards and address statewide needs.
- Partnering with Steris University to provide members with monthly sterile processing webinars. You can learn everything about best practices in infection control, and surgical and endoscopy environments, packaging, storage, and more as it pertains to devise processing. Speakers are nationally recognized subject matter experts who are available to also take your questions. Participants are provided CEUs.