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Health care  –  Set up a program

Engage stakeholders

Experts have described having a multidisciplinary infection prevention and control committee with support from key stakeholders as a crucial first step in developing a successful program. Committees should be made up of appointed persons, have clear objectives, functions and defined scope of responsibilities.

Form an infection prevention and control committee

Having a multidisciplinary interprofessional team with motivated individuals who are committed to preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance is recommended. Ideally, the team should be led or supervised by a medical professional, have one or more members with training in infection control and include but not be limited to:

  • A physician
  • A nurse
  • A clinical microbiologist
  • An infection control specialist
  • A health care epidemiologist
  • An information specialist

Collaborate with others

Infection prevention and control efforts may overlap and intertwine with other initiatives or departments at the health facility. To facilitate the success of the program, good working relationships should be established with the other ongoing initiatives such as:

  • Antibiotic Stewardship Program
  • Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee
  • Clinical microbiology laboratory
  • Quality Assurance unit
  • Patient Safety unit

Ensure support from stakeholders

Support is needed from health care facility administration and medical staff leadership. To begin, expected outcomes of the program should be agreed upon together with authorities. A strategic plan clearly stating goals and objectives, and including a timeline and budget should be presented to and approved by management. This will help to ensure support for the infrastructure necessary to perform work such as surveillance, education and training, and to ensure that staff are allowed to devote time to the work.

Establish the role of the committee

An agreement should be made with management that clearly states the mandate of the committee, outlining their level of authority to perform tasks and the responsibilities of its members. Ideally, commitments should be outlined in job descriptions and performance reviews. Health care facility staff should be made aware of infection prevention and control activities and their importance.

Selected Resources

Resource Description

IFIC Basic Concepts of Infection Control

This manual provides a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. The 2016 Edition available in English. The 2011 Edition is available in Spanish, Italian, French, Hungarian, Arabic and Bulgarian. Several chapters may be useful including:

  • Chapter 2: Organizational Structure. Discusses importance of organizational structure and outlines roles and responsibilities of IPC committee.
  • Chapter 30: The Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Organisation of infection prevention and control Directory

Guidance on organization of infection prevention and control from ECDC.

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