The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is calling for healthcare organizations to assess their infection prevention capacity and strengthen prevention programs by adding personnel, resources, and training to support both infection prevention and surge capacity for future pandemics.
APIC 2022 President, Linda Dickey, RN, MPH, CIC, FAPIC, released the following statement:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined in stark terms the multiple ways in which healthcare safety deteriorated during the pandemic. One metric of patient safety, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), increased significantly during 2020, reversing years of progress. The current pandemic illustrates that our healthcare facilities are not where they need to be in terms of infection prevention and patient safety. Facility-wide infection prevention programs are critical and require adequately staffed, trained, and resourced infection prevention and control departments. We must bolster our infection prevention and control staff capacity in our system of healthcare to simultaneously manage HAIs and future pandemics.”
“This is not the time to ask infection prevention teams to do more with less. It is the time for investment in the infection prevention and control infrastructure in our nation’s healthcare facilities so that basic infection control practices can be hardwired into processes of care.”
“Our hospitals need more infection preventionists. Infection preventionists serve as a critical line of defense in preventing and responding to infections and integrating evidence-based strategies to limit their spread. It’s essential that hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities have enough infection preventionists to train staff and monitor safety protocols so that dangerous pathogens do not spread and lead to infection.
“APIC calls on federal and state governments to provide funding to help support healthcare facilities across the continuum of care to ensure that there is adequate surge capacity so that infection prevention and control measures will endure when stressed by future pandemics and disease outbreaks.
“We can’t let the lessons learned from COVID-19 go to waste. Building stronger infection prevention programs throughout healthcare will not only improve our ability to protect the public during future pandemics but will simultaneously improve patient safety.”
“To help healthcare facilities assess their infection prevention capacity, APIC is launching a new campaign called HAI Fast Forward: Accelerating HAI Prevention, which will include a series of webinars and other resources available to help organizations make headway in reducing their HAIs back to pre-pandemic levels.”