'Brand' new: APIC changes title of profession

ICPs become 'Infection Preventionists'

The infection control professional title — formerly infection control practitioner — with its enduring abbreviation ICP, has given way to a new era and a new name: Infection Preventionist.

The name and branding changes recently were announced in Denver at the annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

"We feel it is a logical move to elevate the profession," explains Denise Graham, vice president of public policy at APIC. In making the move, APIC also decided to drop its full organizational name in favor of its acronym. "It will just be 'APIC,'" she tells Hospital Infection Control. "We're keeping it APIC because it has such brand equity as an acronym. We didn't want to lose it, but we are not extending the [full] name. It's sort of like Coke and IBM."

This newly created term joins the list of professional titles such as hospitalists, intensivists and interventionists introduced by the health care industry over the past several years, APIC explained in a release announcing the move. Infection Preventionists direct interventions that protect patients from health care-associated infections (HAIs) in clinical and other settings around the world. They work with clinicians and administrators to improve patient and systems-level outcomes and reduce HAIs and related adverse events, the organization noted.

"The term Infection Preventionist clearly and effectively communicates who our members are and what they do," said APIC CEO Kathy Warye in a statement. "Infection Preventionists develop and direct performance improvement initiatives that save lives and resources for health care facilities, so this was a natural transition — or a right-sizing of the name — to more accurately reflect their role. By creating a new word, we hope to raise awareness about what Infection Preventionists uniquely contribute to patient safety, improved outcomes and bottom-line savings to health care institutions."

APIC also introduced a new corporate logo and tagline which encapsulate the organization's global reach and focus on prevention: "Spreading knowledge. Preventing infection." The new elements are the result of months of research and development by APIC's Branding Task Force and are designed to promote Infection Preventionists as a separate and distinct profession, whose members are poised for leadership roles in health care.