The CDC also recommends identifying executive partners who can advocate for infection prevention goals and share progress with other senior leaders and the hospital board.7 An ideal partner is someone who:
- Has strong communication skill
- Is approachable and willing to commit time
- Is committed to patient safety
- Is respected by their peers
Along with a senior-level advocate, Angela Zuick, Medline Director of Clinical Services, recommends finding champions among peer groups. Champions most likely to succeed are those who are already intrinsically motivated and enthusiastic about the practices they promote.8
“Especially if you’re an infection preventionist who’s just coming out of bedside nursing, you need experts in other areas of the hospital to help you understand how to move the needle,” Zuick says.
The need for team support is especially critical given that infection can spread across multiple zones of a healthcare setting. This makes the job of executing infection prevention programs not just the responsibility of the infection preventionist but the responsibility of multiple teams.
“You’re going to need the support of other teams to execute your vision, so it makes sense to find champions early on and leverage them as best you can,” she says. “For example, having an infectious disease physician join you in conversations with your CNO can help to show that there is cross-functional support for your ideas, which can help you build a stronger case.”