healthcare

NJHA Series Takes ‘All-In’ Approach to Improving Infection Prevention

COVID-19 has demonstrated the vital importance of infection prevention to protect patients, long term care residents and healthcare workers. The New Jersey Hospital Association is launching a year-long series of infection prevention training to help all levels of healthcare – from clinicians to support staff – adopt a layered, multi-point approach to infection prevention.

“Project Firstline” is designed to address immediate infection prevention training needs, delivered via a variety of training platforms such as virtual on demand, in person, self-paced learning and podcasts to a diverse set of healthcare providers in a variety of settings. The N.J. Department of Health recently provided NJHA $211,750 in funding to bring Project Frontline to hospitals, long term care providers and community-based settings. The funding comes to New Jersey through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which aims to reach 6 million healthcare workers nationwide.

“Our healthcare teams across hospitals, nursing homes and other care settings form the front lines against the spread of infection,” said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett. “They have risen to the challenge amid an unprecedented health threat. This year-long initiative will strengthen those efforts with further evidence-based protocols delivered in a variety of ways to make it convenient and accessible for busy healthcare staff.”

NJHA has scheduled eight trainings over the rest of this year on a variety of topics, from the science of viruses to ways that viruses can spread from surfaces to people. The training focuses not just on COVID-19, but other threats, like Candida auris, that can spread easily in healthcare settings among vulnerable people. Additional programs will be scheduled in 2022. A list of the 2021 education programs, with links to registration, is available at https://www.njha.com/media/667591/Project-Firstline-Education-Offerings-Table-FINAL-15OCT2021.pdf.

A certified infection preventionist helps guide NJHA’s efforts, but the trainings are designed to engage all levels of staff in all settings of care.

“Infection prevention requires an all-in approach,” said Sandy Cayo, RN, vice president of clinical performance and transformation at NJHA. “Each department, from nursing to housekeeping, plays a critical role in protecting patients and residents from viral threats.”

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