Focused on creating a culture of universal infection prevention practices, two South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC) team members are among the first in the nation to receive long-term care certification in infection prevention (LTC-CIP). This new certification joins existing offerings from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC), which include certified in infection control (CIC) and associate infection prevention and control (a-ICP). These three levels allow professionals to gain a command of infection prevention practices to keep patients and residents safe.
Cheri Fast, RN, CIC, LTC-CIP, commented about expanding her existing expertise, “The long-term care certification is a new test specific to the long-term care environment, where some of our most vulnerable patients and loved ones reside. Certification increases our potential to reduce harm and save lives through awareness and education. The support encourages people to step up and to eliminate infection risks in their facilities.”
By offering proactive infection control assessment and response (ICAR) visits to support the reduction in health acquired infections (HAI), Fast shares the value of infection control among health care leadership and provides training for the frontline workers providing care. The interactive on-site HAI training visit is reinforced with on-demand online infection prevention training resources from South Dakota Project Firstline (SD PFL) to help engrain best practices.
“We point out infection control best practices that may be inadvertently overlooked. Making slight and easy changes in daily work can reduce infection risk and improve positive outcomes,” shared Jessica Danko, MSHA, RRT, LTC-CIP, program manager with Project Firstline. “Showcasing the education and training through SD PFL and assisting with ICARs allows me to use my knowledge and expertise to protect those that live in and work within the long-term care setting.”
Fast reflected on the effort required to achieve a culture of universal infection control. “We all, healthcare or not, have the power to reduce the transmission of infection in our homes and our communities. By sharing our various levels of expertise, we are making a difference.”