APIC's Events Focus on Preventing MRSA, Hospital-Acquired Infections

The 12,000 members of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Inc. are paying close attention this year to two ongoing developments in the world of infectious diseases and events. APIC has announced a webinar series extending into the fall that will examine MRSA prevention strategies, and its Sept. 23-23 conference in Arlington, Va., will focuseon the newly expanded Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations that, as of Oct. 1, 2008, will bar reimbursement for three hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The three "never events," meaning health professionals believe they should never occur in a health care setting, are catheter-associated urinary tract infections, catheter-associated bloodstream infections, and mediastinitis, a deep infection following coronary artery bypass surgery.

"We see this as an important opportunity to help clinical and administrative leaders work together to reduce infection, improve outcomes, and preserve health care resources," said APIC CEO Kathy L. Warye. "The conference will offer the most current information from CMS, as well as best practices and ways of approaching quality improvement to achieve reductions in HAIs."

The conference's keynote speaker will be Thomas Valuck, MD, JD, of the CMS Special Program Office for Value-Based Purchasing. Other speakers will come from CDC, the American Hospital Association, and university hospitals and health systems.

The webinar series is free to APIC members with capacity limited to 500 attendees. The series includes a May 6 event titled "New Insights on Research Involving Application of CDC Guidelines for Containment of TB and Other Airborne Pathogens" at 1 p.m. Eastern that will be presented by Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC, epidemiologist at the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and president of Applied Epidemiology Solutions, Inc. "Infection Control in Ambulatory Care" will be presented May 27 by Joseph Perz of CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, with "Infection Control for Influenza" by Dr. Arjun Srinivasan set for July 22. Two MRSA webinars are scheduled for August: "MRSA in Long-Term Care: Practical Strategies for Detection and Management" on Aug. 12, with Deb Burdsall, RN, MSN, CIC, presenting; and "MRSA -- APIC's Guide to Elimination in Hospital Settings" on Aug. 19, with Marcia Patrick, RN, MSN, CIC, presenting.

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