Top Takeaways from the International Infection Prevention Week Twitter Chat

On October 16, 2018, ACIP hosted a Twitter chat for International Infection Prevention Week. In case you missed it, here are the top takeaways from the chat.

October 14-20, 2018, is International Infection Prevention Week. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Protecting Patients Everywhere.”

In order to promote collaboration between providers and patients in working to prevent infections in various aspects of care, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) hosted a Twitter chat on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

The chat featured a question and answer format, which focused on patient safety and infection prevention basics. The questions were provided by the APIC Twitter account to stimulate discussion in a forum-like setting for participants.

Contagion® Editorial Advisory Board member and resident infection preventionist Saskia v Popescu, MPH, MA,CIC, who is a PhD candidate in Biodefense at George Mason University, focusing on the role of infection prevention in facilitating global health security efforts, took over the Contagion® Twitter account to participate in the chat and share her perspective and insight.

In case you missed the chat, we’ve compiled some of the top tweets and takeaways.

Question 1: What are healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), and why is infection prevention everybody’s business?

SvP: It's also important to remember that HAIs aren't just those tied to CMS reimbursement, but expand to any bug a patient/visitor/HCW can acquire during medical care. Better infection control = healthier pts, better trust in healthcare system, & stronger healthsec #IIPWChat https://t.co/rt1SMFTM0d

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A1: Surgical Site Infections are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection. 31% of all #HAIs are #SSI #IIPWChat

— AORN (@aorn) October 16, 2018

Question 2: What are healthcare providers (HCPs) doing to prevent infections in hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory care centers?

A2 - from collaborative rounding to stronger #IP integration into the hospital units, some of our best strategies involve a stronger partnership with HCWs and medical providers. #IIPWChat

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A2. Washing hands before and after seeing patients, placing urinary catheters only when necessary and reporting #HAIs to NH Public Health are just some of the things hospitals and HCPs are doing. #IIPWChat

— NH Public Health (@NHPubHealth) October 16, 2018

Question 3: How can healthcare providers inform patients about infection prevention and the role they play in stopping the spread of infection?

SvP- A3: Also - really honing in on the patient's role in infection prevention - using it as a tool for patient empowerment and involvement in care. Pts often feel they lack power during hospitalization - infection prevention practices are a great way to participate #IIPWChat https://t.co/tPi0LQG5e5

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A3. By handing out pamphlets or direct discussion. Have nurses help also. Teach them to be empowered too and ask people to wash up or wipe stethescopes. #IIPWChat

— Mary Millard (@HAISurvivor) October 16, 2018

Question 4: How can healthcare professionals, patients, and families help prevent infections in healthcare settings?

SvP: When you're having that frank conversation about going into an isolation room w/out PPE.... #IIPWChat pic.twitter.com/f1qHM7ZVSq

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A4: The big one is #handhygiene. It's a foundational component of #infectionprevention & control programs. @CDCgov

Question 5: How can healthcare professionals open a dialogue with patients and families around hand hygiene practices?

SvP: A5- Reminder of patient's role in care process through hand hygiene and encourage them to remind HCWs. For pediatric patients - I involve childlife specialists to make it a game. https://t.co/9qMmgNALEd

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A5. Our systems should support patients to speak up! @WHO recommends a structured approach to incorporating patient engagement into the #handhygiene promotion strategy https://t.co/CawtAt9RWd #IIPWChat

— Amber Wood (@Shablamber) October 16, 2018

Question 6: What is antibiotic resistance, and why is it such an important issue?

SvP - AMR is a global health and biodefense issue. Let's not go back to the days of Oregon Trails - decreasing usage, strengthening stewardship, and pushing for innovative therapies is critical. #IIPWChat https://t.co/svY6x7zIGx

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A6: #antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. YET up to 50% of #antibiotics prescribed are believed to be not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. This creates abx resistance on a global scale. #IIPWChat https://t.co/WcZa9mQanl

— SHEA (@SHEA_Epi) October 16, 2018

Question 7: How can healthcare providers prevent antibiotic resistance? How can consumers prevent antibiotic resistance?

SvP- Patient education plays a big role. We need to chat with patients about AMR/medication practices as if they were more serious meds. Also - text reminders regarding finishing prescription or other e-alerts could be helpful. #IIPWChat https://t.co/okFCDQL3jA

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A7: #Essentialhospital @UChicagoMed has taken the fight against #antibioticresistance beyond their hospital walls. Their #antibioticstewardship program includes data collection/tracking & also focuses on educating the public through social media @chicagoabx. #IIPWChat

— America's Essential Hospitals (@OurHospitals) October 16, 2018

Question 8: How can we work together to prepare for and prevent the spread of infections globally?

SvP - My favorite question yet - all the #biodefense nerds are jumping for joy #IIPWChat pic.twitter.com/tVa22ns9f2

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

SvP- Global health security and disease prevention ranges from pre-travel vaccination to being candid about recent travel if you're seeking care. Hospitals need to invest more in infection prevention efforts that focus on preparedness- whether it's Ebola, SARS, or AMR. #IIPWChat https://t.co/ybsMkuXUhc

— Contagion (@Contagion_Live) October 16, 2018

A8: HCPs: Develop and nurture relationships with #publichealth to work together when the need arises. APIC has developed a public policy agenda to assist infection preventionists in their advocacy activities with policymakers. Learn more: https://t.co/A9JAU74ey9 #IIPWChat

— APIC (@APIC) October 16, 2018