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Take the ‘Pledge’ during IIPW to prevent infections, encourages APIC
‘Clean hands stop germs’ materials remind patients and healthcare professionals to wash up
Washington, DC, September 22, 2015—While rates of many healthcare-associated infections continue to decline, the importance of involving patients and healthcare professionals in the prevention of infections remains at an all-time high. To mark International Infection Prevention Week (#IIPW), which occurs October 18-24, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is encouraging consumers and healthcare professionals to take a pledge to actively engage in infection prevention.
“During this week of heightened awareness, APIC wants patients and healthcare professionals to commit to actions that will help protect patient safety and to communicate with each other about ways to stay safe from infections,” said APIC President Mary Lou Manning, PhD, CRNP, CIC, FAAN, FNAP. “The number one way to prevent infections is hand hygiene. Even the simple act of asking if healthcare providers washed their hands can make a big difference when it comes to preventing deadly infections.”
The patients and families infection prevention pledge focuses on ways to be involved, such as practicing good hand hygiene, asking appropriate questions – including if healthcare providers cleaned their hands — not pressuring providers for antibiotics when they are not necessary, and getting appropriate vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. The healthcare professionals pledge focuses on hand hygiene and responding appropriately when patients ask questions, using personal protective equipment, practicing safe injection techniques, and getting annual flu vaccines.
In honor of #IIPW, APIC has created new ‘Clean hands stop germs’ posters, stickers, and decals encouraging patients and families to ask questions about hand hygiene. These resources are meant to foster dialogue between patients and their providers.
On October 21 at 12 p.m. EDT, the American Hospital Association and APIC will host a Twitter chat, which will focus on how patients and healthcare providers can work together to reduce healthcare-associated infections including hand washing, influenza vaccination, and antibiotic stewardship. The hashtag for the chat is #IIPWChat.
“With the ever-increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, we must prevent infections and preserve our arsenal of available treatments. Patients and families play an important role in preventing infections and we want to make sure that they are armed with the tools and knowledge necessary to help us succeed,” said Katrina Crist, MBA, CAE, CEO of APIC. “With the support of our association partners and corporate champions, APIC can reach a much greater audience during IIPW.”
In addition to the pledge and Clean hands stop germs materials, APIC has created numerous items for easy sharing — using hashtag #IIPW — including e-Cards, memes, and light-hearted polls and quizzes. In 2013 APIC launched a new campaign entitled Infection Prevention and You to help raise awareness of infection prevention issues and share resources with consumers. IIPW falls under the umbrella of this campaign.
APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The association’s more than 15,000 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. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org. Follow APIC on Twitter: www.twitter.com/apic and Facebook: www.facebook.com/APICInfectionPreventionandYou. For information on what patients and families can do, visit APIC’s Infection Prevention and You website at www.apic.org/infectionpreventionandyou.During IIPW, please use the hashtag #IIPW to join the conversation.
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