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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Is Infection Prevention a Bipartisan Issue?

In a time of political transition and turmoil, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has issued a Public Policy Agenda that clarifies key legislative issues for action and advocacy by infection preventionists.

APIC also posted a legislative toolkit that walks IPs through the steps to begin state or federal political advocacy. While the current political landscape is certainly unpredictable, APIC has several key legislative issues that should have bipartisan appeal. Foremost among these is support of antibiotic stewardship programs to prevent the fading efficacy of drugs against an increasing array of resistant bacterial infections.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to finalize a draft regulation in 2017 that would make antibiotic stewardship programs a condition of participation in hospitals and other healthcare settings. APIC supports the CMS requirements to establish drug stewardship programs, which would include key collaborative roles for IPs. The political advocacy document also emphasizes APIC support of resources for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance programs for healthcare associated infections.

“[This document reflects] the work that we have done across party lines regarding patient infections and keeping patients safe,” says Susan Dolan RN, MS, CIC, president of APIC. “The work we have done, specifically in the past decade, has been to educate and influence policy makers in a way to make our voices heard both individually and collectively. I think this document -- regardless of which administration is in place -- is pretty solid on some important things. Certainly, antimicrobial resistance and emerging infectious diseases should be of concerns to anyone.”

For more on this story see the February 2017 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Gary Evans has written about infectious diseases, occupational health, medical ethics and a variety of other healthcare issues for more than 25 years. His writing has been honored with five awards for interpretative and analytical reporting by the National Press Club in Washington, DC.