The Purpose of Infection Prevention and Control
The purpose of IPC is to identify and reduce the risk of infections among people. IPC is required to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.
An effective IPC program is an integral part of the CDC One Health Initiative, an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of people, animals, and the environment.
Infectious disease outbreaks are costly and have devastating short and long-term effects. An IPC plan provides an established mechanism to protect against outbreaks and disease transmission. Developing and implementing an effective IPC program requires a committed team trained to execute a clear, precise, IPC plan, with each member having assigned areas of accountability.
Environmental surfaces play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms, as many of the pathogens can survive on these surfaces for prolonged periods of time. Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces play a vital role in any facility’s IPC program. Choosing the right disinfectant can both ensure the overall success of an IPC program and have a dramatic impact on facility maintenance costs and employee health.
Another fact to be aware of is that once these pathogens have contaminated environmental surfaces, fixtures, furniture and equipment, they can survive for very long periods of time in the absence of effective cleaning and disinfection processes.
Infection prevention and control is one of the first topics introduced in nursing programs, yet its main tenets are often lost or forgotten. Even in healthcare facilities where IPC is considered of primary importance, most do not reliably clean their environments.