It's Conference Season! How to Make the Most of Your Experience

by Erica Mitchell | April 15 2024

Spring and summer mean conference season for Infection Preventionists and other medical practitioners! Academic and exposition/trade conferences are invaluable opportunities for clinicians, researchers, and professionals to exchange ideas, network, and stay abreast of the latest developments in infection prevention and control. However, attending a conference can be overwhelming without proper preparation and strategy. In this post, we'll explore some tips on how to make the most of your conference experience.

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How Can I Bring an Idea to Management?

by Erica Mitchell | February 12 2024

Over the past few posts, we have been looking at how ideas make their way to hospital decision-makers. Nurses play a crucial role in patient care, and their insights can lead to significant improvements within a healthcare facility. However, the way a nurse can bring those ideas to fruition is not always transparent.  If you're a nurse with an idea for enhancing patient outcomes, workflow efficiency, or overall hospital operations, here are some steps you can follow that may help you bring your ideas to hospital management.

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Who Makes Decisions about Infection Prevention in a Private (Non-Government Owned) Hospital?

by Erica Mitchell | January 29 2024

Hospitals are the setting for countless decisions each day, decisions that impact patient outcomes, financial investments, community health and so much more. Decisions about the prevention of healthcare associated infections take place at all levels of a hospital hierarchy, from the environmental services cleaner to the Chief Executive Officer. In today’s post, we will look at who makes these critical decisions that impact patient safety, staff well-being, and the overall resilience of a healthcare system.

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Hospital Hierarchy: Who's Who?

by Erica Mitchell | January 22 2024

Probably no other organizational entity has the human resources complexity of a hospital. Healthcare facilities bring together not just medical professions, but also administration, marketing, financial, and social work professionals. This convergence results in a complex hierarchy which is difficult to nail down, varies by the facility, and can change based on difficult-to-pinpoint scenarios. As a result, a post about the hierarchy of a hospital has to be broad, but we will attempt to lay out the general levels of responsibility by focusing on decision-making areas at private care facilities. 

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How To Make the Case for a Healthcare Innovation

by Erica Mitchell | October 30 2023

Every successful organization, from a small grassroots group to a global corporation, has a way for ideas to percolate through the system and find their way to the top decision-makers. Human ingenuity can come from anywhere, including cost-saving ideas (the matchbox), ways to attract new demographics (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), retain current customers (Starbucks), and of course, launch completely new products (PlayStation). From our last post, we know that hospitals and healthcare systems allocate their budgets in advance, with limited protocols for integrating innovations. How can the individual with an idea get that innovation in front of the right people at the right time, and of course, in the right way? In today's post, we'll explore one method to get you there.

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Product Evaluation: How Do I Know Who is Pay-to-Play?

by Erica Mitchell | August 7 2023

Infection preventionists and their colleagues are inundated with sales messages promoting the latest products, innovations, new formulations, and next big thing to buy for their facility. It's fairly easy to read between the lines of advertisements, weigh the scientific claims written in bold letters on a flyer, and disregard the emoji-filled email subject lines. But what about the review written up in a trade magazine? What about the speaker at a professional organization breakfast? What about the listing in a online product database? How does the busy infection preventionist or healthcare leader know when they are reading an unbiased review and when they are reading a sponsored pieced approved and paid for by the manufacturer?

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Social Media for Infection Preventionists: Twitter (or X?)

by Erica Mitchell | July 31 2023

Twitter brought brevity and global outreach to social media. Founded in 2007, Twitter stood out from its competitors as a quick way to reach and follow anyone on the platform without having to be officially linked. The use of hashtags revolutionized social media, allowing users to categorize their tweets and search for others talking about the same topics (across all platforms). These same features elevated Twitter to rank as one of the top social networks, while recent changes and rebranding efforts make it the slowest-growing platform. We don't know what the future holds for Twitter/X, but while it is still being used by almost a quarter of Americans, here is a brief guide to ways it can enhance your career as an infection preventionist!

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Social Media for Infection Preventionists: Facebook

by Erica Mitchell | July 21 2023

Since Facebook's entry onto the social media marketplace in 2004, it has grown to a stunning 2 BILLION monthly active user base, more than the combined population of India and China. While dominant in ages 25-34, Facebook is used by over 74% of adults, with an almost even split between men and women. This enormous global reach, along with its unparalleled integration into our daily online lives gives the individual user access to information and people like nothing before. With this enormous market share comes issues of privacy and algorithm manipulation, so using Facebook as a healthcare professional does take some finesse. Read on to learn what we think infection preventionists can get from Facebook!

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Social Media for Infection Preventionists: LinkedIn

by Erica Mitchell | July 17 2023

Social media has become integrated into our daily lives more than any other technology. To date, 3 out of 4 American adults have a Facebook account, and over half of Americans rely on social media as a major news source. Access to these platforms has enabled individuals to reach hundreds, if not millions, of people through their phone or computer, with both positive and negative results. One of the major benefits of social media has to be professional growth and networking, and to this end, we are starting a series today that looks at how social media can enhance your career as an infection preventionist. In today's post, we'll start with the ultimate professional networking social media platform, LinkedIn.

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Career Focus: Ambulatory Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | December 12 2022

Ambulatory health care facilities, such as outpatient surgery and diagnostic centers, face new regulations requiring the active presence of an infection preventionist. These ambulatory infection preventionists often are responsible for more than one location, large number of staff, as well as reporting duties to both their corporate headquarters as well as state and federal agencies. With this unique and challenging career come added benefits of regular hours, diverse cases, and a favorable job market. In today's post, we will look closely at the roles and responsibilities of this fast-growing infection prevention profession.

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