Cutting-Edge Collaboration to Mitigate Infection & Illness in Healthcare

Post Author: Linda Lybert, Executive Director
June 6, 2018

Around the world, there is an anticipation of hope when people – patients, workers, and visitors alike – enter the sacred halls of a hospital or healthcare facility, they expect to heal or be healed, help or be helped, and to be kept safe and secure. In years past, this may have been the sole responsibility of the doctors, nurses, and administrators employed by the facilities themselves.

The hope many have quickly turned to fear due to statistics that 1 out of 25 patients will acquire an infection while being treated for something else. Healthcare workers focused on patient care and achieving healing outcomes for patient outcomes have also experienced increased incidences of illness and are continually at risk.

Now is the time for change toward infection prevention and control and preventing healthcare-associated infections. Desired outcomes can only be met by crafting a holistic approach to the multifaceted issues that support the spread of infections and the behaviors responsible for that transmission within healthcare facilities. The only way to find sustainable solutions is to bring together professional disciplines hailing from a variety of settings.

This includes infection preventionists, epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, scientists, laboratorians, engineers, occupational health and safety experts, architects and their clinical and administrative partners, as well as collaborators working in healthcare, manufacturing, academic, entrepreneurial, government, standards setting, and non-profit organizations. Each brings with them important expertise, real-world experiences and critical points of view.

The Healthcare Surfaces Summit (HSS) follows a single mission:

Reduce preventable infections through the collaboration of industry, academia, science, regulatory, and service sectors by interrupting the transmission of surface-related pathogens in healthcare in support of community health.

HSS is not a singular meeting, it is not a conference, and it is not a thing. It is the definition of “summit” in its truest sense – an ongoing dialogue between and among professionals dedicated to reaching the highest peak of safety and quality in healthcare related to preventing illness and infection associated with healthcare surfaces.

Surfaces include not just hard, non-porous surfaces on sinks, countertops, toilets, instrumentation, machines, walls, and floors, but also soft, porous surfaces that make up textiles, upholstery, uniforms, medical devices, patient care items, and more. Essentially, it includes any surface that can be contaminated with a pathogen that can be transmitted and cause illness in patients, staff, or visitors.

Our goals for achievement at the Summit include the following: 

  • Provide a platform for collaboration to identify critical surface issues and develop multi-modal solutions to mitigate the spread of infection
  • Collaborate on, support and develop educational programs and materials
  • Develop guidelines and best practices
  • Review and analyze existing research and make recommendations focused on the gaps that are not understood and must be addressed
  • Support and collaborate on the development of surface selection criteria, infection prevention protocols and the use of effective test methods for validation consistent with regulations
  • Support scientific and practical evidence-based policies; at the facility, local, and national levels

We invite you to collaborate along with us at the Healthcare Surfaces Summit August 21 & 22 in Bloomington, Minnesota. 

Join our quest to reach the summit to create the safest environments in healthcare for the communities we live in and serve.

Healthcare Surfaces Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; all donations are tax-deductible.

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