Guest Author – Neil Fishman, M.D.
President of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), Director of the Department of Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control and the Director of the Antimicrobial Management Program for the University of Pennsylvania Health System
In celebration of International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), I wanted to draw attention to one of the key drivers of elimination of HAIs: collaboration. As Moving toward Elimination of Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Call to Action describes, a cooperative and team-based approach is the way toward success. We know this means applying consistently and cooperatively the tools and methods proven to work. Defined by the Call to Action, the broad-based pillars that make the goal of elimination possible are: adherence to evidence‐based practices; alignment of incentives; innovation in research; and collection of data to target efforts and measure progress.
This fall marks some serious challenges: the emergence of increasingly dangerous resistant bacteria and the advent of the 2011 influenza season to name a few. It is the case that these issues and other enduring problems for infection prevention must be tackled through collaboration among stakeholders, including professional societies, agencies, policymakers, and administrators. But actions at the macro level are powerless if not underpinned by our full dedication as individual healthcare professionals. Even the simplest of our individual choices propel or hinder the goal of elimination and better patient safety. This call to action is not new, but is well served as a reminder that reaching the maximum reduction of HAIs also requires our individual, day-to-day dedication. This week provides a timely opportunity to reiterate these crucial steps:
- Get your influenza vaccine. [more…]
- Adhere to hand hygiene and cough etiquette without fail.
- Stay away from your facility when you are sick.
- Use antibiotics prudently and appropriately. [See Dr. Fishman’s Top 5 Tips for Appropriate Antibiotic Use.]
- Champion infection prevention.
With constant vigilance and dedication, together we will bring about better and safer healthcare.