Continuous Quality Improvement

Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes

3005 - Advancing the Practice of Infection Preventionists with the Guidance of the APIC Competency Model

Friday, June 16
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Oregon Convention Center, B 115- 116

The profession of infection prevention has been a specific role for healthcare providers for approximately 50 years. Recent changes in the healthcare delivery system have necessitated roles and responsibilities well beyond surveillance and prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Increased demands on infection prevention departments have added to the complexity of infection prevention programs. Infection prevention departments are often short staffed and not structured to keep up with evolving roles and responsibilities in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Infection preventionists come from multiple backgrounds and varying levels of educational preparation. This variability results in challenges in designing orientation and competency programs that are able to fit all disciplines involved. Recent surveys of practicing infection preventionists have demonstrated that only half of all infection preventionists are board certified by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC, 2013; Stone et al, 2011; Stone et al, 2008; Henman, Corrigan, Carrico, & Suh, 2015; Landers & Davis, 2016). In addition, it is estimated that of those who seek certification, only about 65 percent pass the certification exam (Henman et al, 2015). Competent and knowledgeable infection preventionists are crucial to the success of contemporary infection prevention and control programs. The literature identifies several mechanisms that can be initiated to help organizations respond to the expanded roles and responsibilities of infection preventionists and improve program effectiveness. This presentation outlines a quality improvement project designed to develop the tools necessary to characterize the novice, proficient, and expert levels of practice for the infection preventionist in an acute care setting based on the stages outlined in the APIC Competency Model (Murphy et al. 2012). These tools can be used to design job descriptions, orientation programs, and career ladders for future infection preventionists.
The targeted audience is infection preventionists responsible for mentoring and training new infection preventionists.

Learning Objectives:

Heather Bernard

Director of Infection Prevention
Mohawk Valley Health System
Hamilton, New York

Heather Bernard has worked in infection prevention for the last 14 years, with experience in acute care, long-term care, dialysis, oncology, and home care. She is currently the director of infection prevention at Mohawk Valley Health System, where she has worked the past 10 years. She received her doctor of nursing practice with a specialty in infection prevention and environmental safety from Loyola University Chicago in July 2016. She has maintained certification in infection control and epidemiology for the last 11 years. Heather is a member of APIC’s Professional Development Committee, which is responsible for promoting the professional development of APIC’s members and diffusion of the APIC Competency Model. Heather’s DNP project was the development of a professional development program for infection preventionists through the development of job descriptions and performance evaluations based on the APIC models career stages; novice, proficient, and expert.


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Timothy Bowers

Infection Preventionist
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Philadelphia, PA

Timothy Bowers is currently an Infection Preventionist at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA focusing on educating his assigned units, CDI (CDAD) reduction, MRSA Screening program and the NHSN MDRO Module compliance. Previously he worked


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3005 - Advancing the Practice of Infection Preventionists with the Guidance of the APIC Competency Model

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Send Email for Advancing the Practice of Infection Preventionists with the Guidance of the APIC Competency Model