Yesterday marked the first day of International Infection Prevention Week
, which is an awareness campaign led by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
designed to stimulate interest in and highlight the importance of infection prevention.
This year’s theme is promoting engagement between patients, visitors and healthcare professionals around infection prevention. As an infection preventionist, I have always believed that everyone plays a role in infection prevention. One way in which everyone – patient, visitor and healthcare professional – can participate in infection prevention is by practicing good hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene is one of the most important preventive measures we can all take to reduce the spread of infection.
- For patients, not only can they make sure to either wash or sanitize their hands at key moments, such as prior to eating, prior to touching invasive devices, or after using the restroom, but they can also ask questions about their care and ask their healthcare providers and visitors to clean their hands.
- Visitors oftentimes feel helpless when their loved one is undergoing a medical test or has been admitted to the hospital. Practicing hand hygiene is one small thing they can do to help contribute to making the patient better.
- Healthcare professionals should practice hand hygiene as well as encourage both their colleagues, patients and visitors to do the same.
This year APIC is inviting everyone to take a pledge to show their support and demonstrate their role in infection prevention. I have taken the pledge, will you join me?
Take the Infection Prevention Pledge