— Jeffrey C. Hageman, M.H.S.
CDC Epidemiologist and Executive Secretary of HICPAC
CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Each morning when I review news headlines about the latest medical research identifying a new cure or danger, questions pop into my head. Was the research study designed correctly? Was the information collected accurately? Does this new research finding mean the older recommendations don’t need to be followed? Fortunately, there are groups of experts who review the evidence, ask these questions, and develop recommendations so that clinicians have the best information available to practice safe care.
One important group that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). HICPAC is a federal advisory committee composed of 14 external infection control experts who come from a variety of medical fields such as infectious diseases, nursing, surgery, critical care medicine, and public health. HICPAC also has a consumer advocate representative, as well as representation from both other federal agencies and professional organizations. HICPAC’s primary function is to issue recommendations in the form of guidelines for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Guideline topics range from how to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs) to how personnel should clean medical equipment and rooms between patients.
On June 17 and 18, HICPAC will convene in Atlanta, where it will discuss prevention of SSIs, preventing infections among babies in neonatal intensive care units, and infection prevention in ambulatory care settings. Are you interested in learning more about HIPCAC, its mission, and its efforts to ensure the protection of patients in healthcare settings? If so, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac.