HAI Infection Prevention Education

The resources below are intended to connect health care facility infection preventionists (IP) with education materials to support their role in preventing, detecting, and responding to healthcare-associated infections.

IPs play an essential role in facility infection prevention policy development, surveillance, and risk assessment.

IPs serve as a resource to other staff and programs within their facilities.

In addition to the state in-person trainings and online references below, there are a number of links to trusted education resources, including the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

 

Infection Preventionist Starter Kit, P-02992

The IP Starter Kit provides Infection Preventionists a brief background and resources for some of the many infection prevention-related responsibilities within health care facilities. 


Resources for infection preventionists

Long-Term Care Education Series 

The long-term care (LTC) education series provides education presentations on topics that include infection prevention, HAIs, antibiotic stewardship, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for staff at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, local health departments, and other LTC stakeholders. Each session features a new, timely topic presented by DHS program staff, HAI Infection Preventionists (IPs), partner organizations, or other external subject matter experts.

View the full library of education sessions. Note: All 2021 education sessions can be found by visiting the full library. 

 

Have a topic request?

Sent topic ideas or requests that you have for the long-term care education series to DHSWIHAIPreventionProgram@dhs.wisconsin.gov


    Project Firstline 

    The Wisconsin HAI Prevention Program has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to roll-out a new infection control basics training program aimed at frontline health care workers across health care settings. The content is designed so that frontline health care worker can understand and confidently apply infection control principles and protocols necessary to protect themselves, their facility, their families, and their community from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Visit CDC's Project Firstline webpage for more infection control content. 

    Infection control and COVID-19 

    Access CDC's Project Firstline training videos below to learn more about infection control and COVID-19. 

    Introduction to infection control and virus basics 

    The following training videos explain the basics of infection prevention and control and provide a high-level overview of viruses

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Injection safety 

    Contaminated vaccines can make patients sick. The following training videos focus on important injection safety actions to take when using multi-dose vials. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Personal protective equipment basics 

    The following training videos focus on the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection, gloves, and gowns. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Respiratory basics 

    Respirators are an important piece of personal protective equipment. The following training videos focus on the different types of respirators and how they contribute to infection control. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Environmental cleaning and disinfection basics 

    The following training videos focus on the importance of environmental cleaning and disinfection for infection control. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Ventilation, source control, and hand hygiene

    Learn how ventilation, source control, and hand hygiene all play a role in infection control. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    How COVID-19 spreads

    The following training videos focus on COVID-19 and how it spreads. 

    Some frontline health care workers may obtain free continuing education (CE) credits for viewing these training videos. Visit CDC's Training and Continuing Education Online webpage for more on obtaining CEs. 

    Infection control in health care

    Access CDC's Project Firstline educational resources to learn more about where germs live in health care settings and how to recognize the risk of spread.

    Webpages

    Project Firstline's infection control in health care webpages are meant to provide frontline health care workers with the foundational knowledge on when and how to take action to protect patients, residents, and themselves from infections in health care. Visit the following webpages to learn where germs live and how to recognize the potential for them to spread and cause infections. 

    Videos, toolkits, and more

    Project Firstline offers additional educational materials in the form of videos, job aids, toolkits, and interactive scenarios that provide frontline health care workers with the knowledge necessary to apply infection control practices to prevent infections in health care settings. 


    Environment of care safety considerations

    The information below is intended to provide selected infection prevention and control considerations related to environment of care; it is not intended to provide all-inclusive guidance to meet regulatory requirements. Instead, it provides tips and “thinking points” on topics that contribute to infection prevention. These topics may be things that the Department of Health Services (DHS) Infection Preventionists (IP) have witnessed during on-site visits, received questions about, or noted while working in past facility-based IP positions. Many of these considerations were covered in the DHS Long-Term Care (LTC) Education Series, but most topics extend well beyond LTC into any health care setting.

    Automated external defibrillators

    Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) should be checked routinely according to the the manufacturer's instructions for use. It is a patient safety risk when routine checks are not completed.   

    Some general AED standards and requirements to consider: 

    • Have the manufacturer's instruction for use easily accessible when it is time for routine checks. The industry standard is to routinely, weekly or monthly, inspect these devices to ensure that they "pass" or "fail." 
    • Most AED devices are set to do a "self test" on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. If a problem is detected, a status indicator will appear. Ensure "self tests" are happening. 
    • Batteries should be checked to ensure they work. AED batteries generally have a shelf life of 1-5 years. 
    • Check the expiration date on the electrode pads. Any opened or used electrode pads should not be reused as they are considered compromised. 
    • After use, the AED should be cleaned and disinfected prior to putting it away. 
    • AEDs should not be obstructed. Ensure that there is nothing blocking access to the AED; in case of emergencies staff must have ready access to the AED.
    Related resources

    Occupation Health and Safety: Is your AED Ready to Shock?
    American Heart Association: Implementing an AED Program
    OSHA Automated External Defibrillators
    A Comprehensive Guide to Defibrillators 

    Crash carts 

    Similar to AEDs, crash carts are important in medical emergencies. Ensuring crash carts are equipped and checked regularly is important for patient safety. 

    Some general crash cart standards and requirements to consider: 

    • Crash carts should be stocked with all necessary medications. Medications with similar names should be kept away from each other to avoid medication errors or mix-ups.  
    • Check to ensure no equipment or medications are expired. 
    • Check to ensure all needed supplies are in the cart on a routine basis. 
    • Ensure all items stored on the crash cart are clean. 
    • Do quality checks to ensure all equipment on the crash cart is working properly. 
    • The crash cart should be covered and put away in a secure location. 
    • Clean crash cart on a routine basis. 
    • Ensure all staff are familiar with what is in the crash cart and that they know how to use it. 
    Related resources

    The Joint Commission: Crash Cart Preparedness 
    Crash Cart Supply and Equipment Checklist
    The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Crash Cart Requirements: What You Need to Know
    What is in a Crash Cart? 

    Eyewash stations

    In a health care setting, emergency plumbed or potable eyewash stations are typically found in areas where work is done with corrosive or caustic chemicals or where corrosive or caustic chemicals are mixed and used, such as housekeeping areas. Blood and body fluids are not considered corrosive or caustic. A risk assessment should be conducted to determine the need for a plumbed or potable eyewash stations. 

    Some general eyewash station standards and requirements to consider:

    • Eyewash stations must be in accessible locations that require no more than 10 seconds or 55 feet to reach. It should be located on the same level as the corrosive or caustic chemicals and the path of travel should be free from obstructions.  
    • Eyewash stations should be identified with a highly visible sign that is positioned to be visible within the area served by the eyewash station. 
    • Eyewash stations should be connected to a supply of flushing fluid. They should produce the required spray pattern for a minimum period of 15 minutes.
    • Eyewash stations should be temperature controlled for hot and cold.
    • Eyewash stations must be inspected, checked for cleanliness/debris, and flushed weekly. The eyewash station should be flushed for a period of time in order to verify flushing fluid is in an even, steady stream and clear. Ensure the unit is unobstructed and activates easily with one hand, meaning the flow removes the eye piece covers on its own. This inspection process must be documented.
    Wall mounted saline bottles

    Secondary wall mounted bottles of saline would not be suitable for areas that have corrosive or caustic chemicals, but would be suitable in care areas for potential unanticipated blood/body fluid splashes. Expiration must be routinely checked and replacement saline bottles must be on hand.

    Related resources

    CDC Environmental Infection Control Guidelines, page 63 – brief mention about eyewash station flushing 
    CMS State Operations Manual, LTCFs, page 679 – Infection Control Policies and Procedures
    University of Wisconsin, Environment, Health, and Safety Department, additional resources and information on eyewash stations, including links to Wisconsin code and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

    Linen storage

    Linen management is important because it can be a source of pathogen transmission. CMS guidelines require that staff handle, store, process, and transport all linens and laundry in accordance with accepted national standards in order to produce hygienically clean laundry and prevent the spread of infection to the extent possible. Follow all CMS guidelines for handling, storing, processing and transporting processes.

    Some general linen storage standards and requirements to consider:

    • Ensure that portable linen carts are routinely cleaned and inspected. The cover must always be down and other items should not be placed on top of or in the linen carts. 
    • Consider the placement of portable linen carts that are in shower or spa rooms. They should not be near a water source or toilet.
    • When considering where linens will be stored, inspect the closet or room. Linens should be stored in a designated, clean space with a door. The space should not be shared. 
    • If possible, linens should be covered. There should never be open ceiling or large vents above or around the linens. If there are vents, assess what type and if there is risk of dust and debris coming out of these vents on to the linens. 
    Related resources

    CDC Environmental Infection Control Guidelines, pages 113-119 – laundry, pages 153-154 – tags and references
    CMS State Operations Manual, LTCFs, pages 695-696 – linens, page 679 – Infection Control Policies and Procedures


    Infection control assessment and response

    Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) calls or on-site visits are educational discussions that cover a range of infection prevention and control topics that can impact the spread of COVID-19 within a facility. The "ICAR Lessons Learned" series of messages were shared in 2020 to highlight common recommendations and clarifications our team of infection preventionists make during these calls or visits.

    Note that some guidance and recommendations shared in these messages may have changed, it is important to stay current with CDC and DHS guidance. Visit the ICAR Tool for Nursing Homes Preparing for COVID-19 webpage for more information on ICARs. 


    Additional resources

    DHS resources

    External resources


    Request an infection prevention and control training or educational on-site visit from one of our Infection Preventionists!

    The Wisconsin HAI Prevention Program has experienced Infection Preventionists working in all regions of the state. If you or your facility has specific infection prevention and control questions or training needs, contact us! 

     
    Last Revised: July 15, 2022