Guest Post: Thalia Kelly, Corporate Account Manager at AvKARE

The week of October 13-19 is International Infection Prevention Week.  It’s a week that brings awareness and helps highlight ways to stop the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAI’s). During this annual event, an effort is made to show the significance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, Administrators, Legislators, and the consumer.

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What is the role of an Infection Preventionist? They are healthcare professionals who make sure all healthcare workers and patients are practicing infection prevention practices.  They identify, investigate, monitor, and report healthcare-associated infections. Infection Preventionists are the experts in knowing how infections spread, and what needs to be done to stop them.  Reducing infections can produce significant bottom line savings for any healthcare organization, in addition to having the best patient outcomes.

Why do we celebrate Infection Preventionists? Some of the strategies and precautions that you use everyday are because of an infection prevention protocol.  These protocols are standard in healthcare settings and most people use them daily, but never really thought about who put these precautions in place.  Just think about your hand hygiene (washing hands-you see the signs everywhere you go), wearing personal protection equipment, cleaning and disinfecting, and respiratory hygiene (coughing etiquette).  All of these processes are common today because an Infection Preventionist used their skills to prevent and control infections.  We use these all the time to help prevent spreading germs when we have a cold, and choosing the right disinfectant when we are cleaning.

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Infection Preventionists believe we can create a safer world through the prevention of infections.  So the next time you are in a healthcare setting, and happen to see an Infection Preventionist, shake their hand and thank them for all that they do. But before you do, just make sure you’ve followed the proper hand hygiene steps… wash your hands, please 😉

Happy International Infection Prevention Week to all of the healthcare professionals who are dedicated to keeping us safe!