APIC introduces infection prevention competency model

Washington, May 2, 2012 – To meet the demands of the rapidly expanding field of infection prevention, and equip professionals for the challenges of the future, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today introduced their first model for infection preventionist (IP) competency. The model outlines the skills needed to advance the infection prevention field and was created to help direct the IP’s professional development at all career stages.

The APIC Competency Model for the Infection Preventionist appears in a white paper in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the official journal of APIC, in a special topic issue focused on “The Road to 2020.”

Represented as a circular diagram with patient safety in the center, the model illustrates four critical areas of expertise that are needed for the expanding IP role – including leadership and program management; performance improvement and implementation science; infection prevention and control; and technical expertise.

“This conceptual model not only describes successful IP practice as it is today, but is also meant to be forward thinking by emphasizing those areas that will be especially critical in the next three to five years,” state the authors of the white paper. “APIC views the model as part of the association’s long-standing efforts to define and advance the profession.”

The content areas correspond to the core competencies as defined by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). “Board certification in infection prevention is critical to professional development,” add the authors. “It represents the bridge between the novice and the proficient professional.”

The Road to 2020: Additional highlights
A guest editorial appearing in AJIC co-authored by APIC 2012 President Michelle Farber, RN, CIC, and CEO Katrina Crist, MBA, introduces the Road to 2020 theme. “The association is pursuing ambitious strategic goals, and we encourage all infection prevention stakeholders to join with us,” state Farber and Crist.

The AJIC special issue includes the full text of the APIC Strategic Plan 2020, which was adopted by the APIC Board of Directors in January 2012. The plan sets the course over the next eight years to advance toward the association’s vision of healthcare without infection and fulfill its mission to create a safer world through prevention of infection through five strategic priorities: patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy and data standardization.

The value of certification in infection prevention and control is the subject of another article in the issue. An additional article discusses performance improvement and implementation science and examines how both areas are essential to the IP’s and APIC’s future success. A final article presents results from a national survey on the APIC research agenda.

“As the demand for infection prevention expertise continues to rapidly expand, so too does the need for IPs to acquire new skills,” said Farber. “Future efforts will build upon the platform described in these papers to help direct our members into areas where future knowledge and skills will be most needed and valued.”

To learn more about the model and its explanation, attend the APIC 2012 Annual Conference session titled “A Long and Winding Road: Meeting Current Challenges, Preparing for Future Demands: APIC Introduces a Model of IP Competency,” on Tuesday, June 5, 3-4 p.m. in San Antonio.

APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The association’s more than 14,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization. Follow APIC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apic.

AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control (www.ajicjournal.org) covers key topics and issues in infection control and epidemiology. Infection preventionists, including physicians, nurses, and epidemiologists, rely on AJIC for peer-reviewed articles covering clinical topics as well as original research. As the official publication of APIC – the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology – AJIC is the foremost resource on infection control, epidemiology, infectious diseases, quality management, occupational health, and disease prevention. AJIC also publishes infection control guidelines from APIC and the CDC. Published by Elsevier, AJIC is included in MEDLINE and CINAHL.

NOTES FOR EDITORS: The articles referenced below related to “The Road to 2020” appear in the American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 40, Issue 4 (May 2012).

White paper

  • Denise Murphy, Marilyn Hanchett, Russell Olmsted, Michelle Farber, Terrie Lee, Janet Haas, Stephen Streed, “Competency in infection prevention: A conceptual approach to guide current and future practice.”

Additional articles

  • Michelle Farber, Katrina Crist, “The road to 2020 – Guest Editorial.”
  • APIC Board of Directors, “APIC Strategic Plan 2020.”
  • Katrina Crist, Barbara Russell, Michelle Farber, “The value of certification and the CIC credential.”
  • Marilyn Hanchett, “Performance improvement and implementation science: Infection prevention competencies for current and future role development.”
  • Marc Oliver Wright, Eileen Carter, Monika Pogorzelska, Cathryn Murphy, Marilyn Hanchett, Patricia Stone, “The APIC research agenda: Results from a national survey.”