Infection Preventionist Onboarding
The changing landscape of infection prevention and control, over the course of the past decade in particular, has resulted in an increased demand for skilled infection preventionists (IPs), particularly in the hospital setting.
An IP has many responsibilities within a healthcare organization. They typically include the following:
- Annual review and update of infection control plan, which includes an infection prevention risk assessment.
- Collect, analyze and interpret patient data (surveillance) as a means to track infection trends, develop and implement appropriate interventions (process measures), and measure outcomes.
- Notify local, state and federal public health authorities about reportable diseases, as required.
- Establish evidence-based infection prevention standards.
- Develop, implement, monitor and revise infection control policies and procedures to assure compliance with the standards.
- Collaborate with healthcare team to assure implementation of such practices.
- Work to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by identifying and isolating sources of infections, and then working to limit their transmission.
- Educate healthcare personnel and the public about communicable diseases and how to prevent or limit their spread.
Many facilities are utilizing the resources of staff nurses and training them in-house to take on the role of an IP. But the training of novice IPs requires a time commitment, specific knowledge base and expertise, as well as teaching skills. Infection prevention and control is complex and driven by mandates and requirements, and takes patience and perseverance to be successful.
ICCS provides one-on-one mentoring of staff members who are taking on the role of IP and provides them with guidance, beginning with a review of the infection control plan and risk assessment.
HAI surveillance is a skill that requires supervision, particularly when a healthcare professional is beginning their role as an IP. With ICCS providing infection preventionist mentoring services, the novice IP will receive the infection prevention education and tools needed to perform their responsibilities and help ensure their organization remains compliant with infection prevention regulations. The IP will also have access to external resources as experienced ICCS consultants are available to provide assistance throughout the life of the engagement.
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