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 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 healthcare providers with evidence-based best practices, data to support IPC efforts, and tools for education and re-education of staff as needed. Many of WSHA’s IPC resources have the IP as the main point of focus.
Key WSHA infection prevention activities underway include:
- Individual support: WSHA staff will visit on-site or virtually with members to review data from WSHA’s IPC Dashboard with IP’s and their teams. Get help with SMART goals. Follow-up visits are provided to support progress. New or inexperienced IPs can ask for one on one time to review resources with New IP Orientation. Contact SandraA@wsha.org.
- Monthly webinars with 3M experts at the IP Forum: Members learn from well-known experts about best practices to prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Anyone can join. CEUs are provided. Sign-up is easy and you can join at any time. Contact MichellM@wsha.org.
- Newsletters and information updates: Get updates about special events, learning collaboratives, policy updates, new resources, and more for anyone who is interested in Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) and IPC. Reach out to SandraA@wsha.org.
- Engagement with members and other stakeholders at the IPC Committee: The monthly meeting provides feedback to WSHA on member needs and priorities specifically regarding IPC and AMS. Learn about opportunities to participate in subcommittees. The isolation signage subcommittee is currently updating the signage to meet new standards and address statewide needs. Contact SandraA@wsha.org to participate.
- Sterile Processing with Steris University: Learn everything about best practices to prevent HAIs in surgical and endoscopy environments, packaging, storage, and more as it pertains to devise processing at these webinars. Speakers are nationally recognized subject matter experts who are available to also take your questions. Anyone interested can participate. Participants are provided CEUs. Contact MichellM@wsha.org to register.
- Support for the IPC and AMS metrics through the MQI (Medicaid Quality Improvement) program: Learn more here.
- The Infections Dashboard in DASH (Data Analytics Services Hub). This dashboard replaces historic, static IPC and AMS reports. As a member, you can sort, trend, compare, and visualize NHSN data that is refreshed monthly without having to go through the complicated NHSN website. Sort by hospital, system, organization, measures, hospital size, rurality, and state. Click here to request an account.