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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 Manual that provides a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. The 2016 Edition is 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 committees.
  • Chapter 30: The Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Organisation of infection prevention and control Directory Directory. Collection of resources for organization of infection prevention and control in healthcare settings by a variety of agencies and professional societies (compiled by ECDC).

More from "Set up a program"

International Federation of Infection Control - IFIC. IFIC Basic concepts of infection control [Internet]. Portadown: International Federation of Infection Control; 2016. Available from:
World Health Organization - WHO. Core components for infection prevention and control programmes – Report of the Second Meeting of the Informal Network on Infection Prevention and Control in Health Care [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2016 Mar 15]. Available from:
Ganguly NK, Arora NK, Chandy SJ, Fairoze MN, Gill JPS, Gupta U, et al. Rationalizing antibiotic use to limit antibiotic resistance in India. Indian J Med Res [Internet]. 2011 Sep;134:281–94. Available from:
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - ECDC. Guidance on organisation of infection prevention and control [Internet]. [cited 2015 May 4]. Available from: