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State of infection prevention and control in nonacute care US settings: 2020 APIC MegaSurvey

Published:August 09, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2022.08.005

      Highlights

      • The majority (57%) of respondents working in non-acute care settings reported working in more than one setting type.
      • Reported time spent on HAI activities by infection preventionists in non-acute care settings decreased by 31% compared to the 2015 APIC MegaSurvey.
      • Only one in three respondents working in a non-acute care setting reported being satified with their overall compensation.

      Abstract

      Background

      Strengthening infection prevention and control programs in nonacute care settings is a national priority. Efforts require thorough and ongoing appraisal of organizational structures, human resources including personnel training and competencies, system challenges and adaptive strategies implemented. Assessment of those in infection preventionist (IP) roles outside of the acute care setting is necessary to capture ongoing changes and challenges in the IP profession.

      Methods

      This cross-sectional study utilized data derived from the 2020 APIC MegaSurvey and applied descriptive and bivariate analyses to describe the state of infection prevention and control programs and personnel across nonacute clinical settings in the United States.

      Results

      Of 1,991 respondents, 57% of frontline IPs or administration/director IPs (1,051) indicated working in 1 or more nonacute care clinical settings. Of these, 33% (343) worked exclusively in only 1 type of nonacute care setting. Consistent with findings from the 2015 APIC MegaSurvey, IPs employed in nonacute care settings are a homogenous group with 88% of respondents indicating they are white, non-Hispanic (88%), female (94%), with nursing as their primary discipline (95%). A notable change in the proportion of time spent on health care-associated infection (HAI) activities in general was found, with a 31% decrease in reported time spent compared to respondents from the 2015 survey. Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported an annual salary of $50,000-$80,000; only 35% of respondents reported they were satisfied with their overall compensation. More than half (57%) of respondents reported having 5 or less years’ experience in IPC and the majority, 82% reported they expected to be working in the IP profession in the next 5 years.

      Conclusions

      The majority of IPs in nonacute care settings also worked in acute care. Of those who exclusively worked in nonacute care settings, they were predominately female, white, and had an educational background in nursing. A decrease in time spent on HAI activities was noted compared to respondents in 2015. Although the 2020 APIC MegaSurvey captured information previously not assessed in 2015, further studies are necessary to more robustly characterize the IP profession in nonacute care settings. Enhancements to current resources and services provided by APIC may serve to fill gaps in nonacute care settings related to gaining experience in research, general expertise, advocacy, and diversity.

      Key words

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