HealthPRO Canada News

National Infection Control Week: In Conversation with Industry Experts

National Infection Control Week

In celebration of National Infection Control Week, HealthPRO conducted two interviews to support this year’s theme: spread prevention, not infection. We sat down with Katie Ives, a HealthPRO Clinical Advisor for Wound Care and Allied Health/IPAC. Katie’s knowledge and experience with operational and structural changes in healthcare has given her important insights, especially throughout COVID-19.  Katie has extensive experience in conducting audits for Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) practices. She also educates staff on the proper implementation of best practices to help improve existing healthcare procedures and operations. As Katie continues to work in-hospital, she has seen many improvements in clinical areas over the last year.  To understand some of the changes resulting from COVID-19, we asked Katie about innovations, advancements, commonly overlooked areas, and prevention tips.  Here are some of the major themes and results from our conversation:

More Resources and Funding Allocated for Infection Prevention and Control

“Since COVID, more emphasis and funding has been allocated to the IPAC departments.  Infection Prevention and Control Hubs were developed during COVID.   The hubs provide community access to IPAC expertise, collaborative assistance and just-in-time advice, guidance, and direct support on IPAC practices for both prevention and response.”

Consistency in the Implementation of Policies in Clinical Areas

“An example of this is where to don and doff your PPE: sometimes you’ll have a policy where it says to doff in the hallway, but there’s no room to provide doffing in a safe spot.  It may work for one floor or institution but can’t be applied to other units and/or institutions.”

Key Tips: Use your Hygiene Knowledge to Prevent other Infections

“While COVID made us more aware of basic behaviors that prevent transmission - like hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, wearing masks and staying home when unwell, these actions will also interrupt pathogens like influenza and RSV and are important for everyone to incorporate into their lives on an ongoing basis.”

To watch Katie’s interview, click here.

To understand various perspectives from experts on infection prevention and control, HealthPRO also conducted an interview with Jim Gauthier, Senior Clinical Advisor, Infection Prevention at Diversey (Diversey supplies hygiene, infection prevention and cleaning solutions).  We asked him questions on the benefits of this week, new infectious disease conversations he’s having, and changes on future pandemic procedures. 

Here are some of the key themes and responses:

Canadians need to know a lot about National Infection and Control Week

“It’s everyone’s job to be an Infection Practitioner, not just someone like myself that works in a healthcare setting.  If Canadians fully understand what we do in the background, it will help a lot on keeping patients safer in our healthcare settings.”

New Infectious Disease Conversations in 2022 on Different Micro-Organisms

“We’ve had an interesting virus show up, called monkey pox; There are new viruses on the horizon as we move into influenza season; There are some yeast infections that have been prevalent in the United States that are now showing up in Canada.”

To mitigate future pandemic impacts: know when to stay home

“Anyone who has symptoms of an infectious disease needs to either stay home or if they can’t stay home, to make sure that they have clean clothes on, hands well washed and if it’s a respiratory kind of infection, that they have mask on to limit respiratory secretions.

To watch Jim’s interview, click here.