New York Considering Bill Requiring Infection Prevention Certification

Lawmakers in New York have sponsored a bill that, if passed, would require infection preventionists to be certified in infection prevention and control if they want to practice in New York hospitals, according to a news release from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

The bill stipulates that infection preventionists in a general hospital would be required to meet one of the following:

  • Pass an exam from a nationally accredited infection prevention and epidemiology accrediting organization and hold and maintain certification in infection prevention and control.

  • Provide evidence of employment as an infection preventionist for one year or more within four years of the bill's passage.

  • Be a student or intern performing the functions of an infection preventionist (within the scope of the student's or intern's training) while serving under direct supervision of appropriately licensed or certified healthcare professional.

If an infection preventionist fails to meet at least one of these requirements, the individual would have three years from the date of hire to obtain an infection preventionist credential.

The bill, A. 3705/S. 5186, is sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D) and Senator Jen Metzger (D). Gunther previously held an infection control position at Catskill Regional Medical Center. In the release, she is quoted as saying, "I am proud to lead an effort that will enhance patient safety in New York hospitals by ensuring that infection preventionists have appropriate credentials. I hope other states follow this example."

The bill includes a clause to account for hospitals that are unable to contract with an individual(s) who meets the requirements.