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MRSA Meets its Match in Certified Infection Preventionists

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 14, 2012

The paper was published in the March issue of the journal, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology by Monika Pogorzelska, an associate research scientist, and colleagues at Columbia. The credentials referred to are granted by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc., after applicants pass a three-hour test.

Asked what practices these certified professionals employee, which other practitioners don't, that might result in fewer infections, the study's co-author Patricia Stone, associate professor of nursing, gave a few examples. She hypothesized that organizations that have people with this level of expertise elevate the priority of infection control within the hospital culture. They also are able to maintain san expert who keeps up with the latest infection control trends, she says.

"For example, should pre-surgical patients take a bath with chlorhexidine or not. They should. For someone on a ventilator, there's mouthwashes to maintain oral hygiene, which is important to prevent patients from getting pneumonia.

"And we just went through a major revolution with alcohol hand rubs—these weren't around eight years ago and represent a major change in hand hygiene, which should be a basic behavior for everyone in the hospital, whether the clinician, the candy striper or the chaplain, or even the housekeeper."

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