APIC launches new consumer awareness campaign to prevent healthcare infections and medical errors

Washington, June 23, 2011 – A major educational campaign, launched today by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), informs the public of the infection preventionist’s role in healthcare settings and ways in which patients can stay safe from infections.

The campaign, titled ―Infection Prevention and You,‖ provides print material outlining information to help guide important conversations patients should hold with their healthcare team to prevent infection. It is also the first consumer campaign of its kind designed to educate patients about infection preventionists—a growing profession of dedicated experts who partner with the broader healthcare team and implement evidence-based methods to ensure that patients, healthcare personnel, volunteers and visitors avoid healthcare-associated infections.

“Patients often feel intimidated in the healthcare setting and may not know what to say or what do to stay safe,‖ said APIC Communications Committee chair Ann Marie Pettis, RN, BSN, CIC, who assisted in developing the campaign content. “Many also don’t understand the important role infection preventionists play in patient safety. The information in this campaign helps patients understand that they can play an active role in their healthcare to prevent healthcare-associated infections and medical error. We hope hospitals and healthcare organizations will use these materials to promote quality
and safety initiatives within their facilities.”

Developed with input from Children’s Healthcare Atlanta, APIC’s ―Infection Prevention and You‖ campaign material is available in a variety of print and electronic formats, including posters, brochures, fliers and PowerPoint presentations for closed circuit television. Individual healthcare organizations can also customize the material by adding their logos and the contact information for their infection prevention department.

Campaign material is available for free download at http://www.apic.org/patientsafety. APIC’s mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse  outcomes. 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 around the globe. APIC advances its mission through education, research, collaboration, practice guidance, public policy and credentialing. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org. For consumer-related information, visit www.preventinfection.org. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apic.