Coincidentally, on the same day I posted my mini-rant about responsibility for antimicrobial resistance, Prof. Michael Edmond, Richard P. Wenzel Professor of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University also wrote a post about the state of infection prevention programs (no longer “infection control programs”) in the U.S. at his influential blog.

It is interesting to see how most of these programs evolved from being primarily surveillance-based (much like most local infection control programs) to being held accountable for outcomes and being responsible for the introduction of infection prevention interventions. He felt that 3 things drove this change:

  1. Mainstream media starting to report on healthcare-associated infections.
  2. Data on healthcare-associated infections became publicly available.
  3. Hospitals (in the U.S.) are now starting to suffer financial penalties because of high infection rates. This last in his (and perhaps everyone’s) view is the most important.

It is clear that our own infection control programs (we haven’t shifted to calling them “infection prevention programs” yet) are behind the curve, but getting there.