Moving Knowledge to Action: How Can We Optimally Support Different Healthcare Settings to Reach Their IPAC Goals?

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      The Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) department at Public Health Ontario (PHO) provides support to health care settings to enable consistent adoption of IPAC best practices. The IPAC Regional Support unit plays a role in dissemination, knowledge exchange, and capacity building. To effectively prioritize supports, it is essential to understand the needs of our stakeholders.


      A needs assessment of IPAC professionals was conducted in all health care sectors in PHO's Central West region. The project was framed by the Knowledge to Action Cycle to support exploration of gaps, priorities, barriers, facilitators, and strategies. The objectives were to identify practices gaps, barriers influencing change, gaps in knowledge and skills, and stakeholders preferences for supports.
      Multiple data sources were used to collect information from IPAC stakeholders in several sectors. Data sources includes an online survey (April 1 to June 30, 2019), consultation with public health units (PHU), stakeholder inquiries, and evaluations of previous educational sessions (April 2017 to March 2019).


      Information was collected from eighteen PHU representatives and 135 survey respondents, 56% from long-term care and retirement homes.
      The needs assessment identified the importance of tailoring supports and priority areas for learning by sector, as well as preferred modalities for learning.
      Across sectors, stakeholders face barriers to practice improvement due to the physical environment and resources (17%), as well as motivation (40%). There was a strong interest in skill development around techniques to motivate and inspire colleagues and secure buy-in.


      The needs assessment was supported by multiple sources, and gathered information about challenges to improving IPAC practices that can be applied beyond the Central West Region. The needs assessment has provided information that can be used to prioritize areas of focus for the exploration of strategies to improve practice gaps.
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