Our highlights from ACIPC 2021 International Conference


26th November 2021

Events and exhibitions

In our latest article, we take a look back at the recent ACIPC virtual conference. We share our highlights from across the two days and celebrate Tamworth Hospital's winning poster.

The 2021 Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) Conference held in November was completely different from any other. Hosted entirely online for the first time, the conference attracted over 700 attendees, with presentations delivered by colleagues and professionals from around the globe. Once again it was an incredibly interesting and successful event and the conference organising committee must be congratulated. The opportunity to connect was not missed, with access via forums, meeting hubs, Q&A and the online exhibition.

There were many inspiring and informative presentations this year, with a healthy mix of reflection, including: the challenges and initiatives of the past year and focus to the future priorities in Infection Prevention and Control. We also particularly enjoyed a dedicated stream for IPC in Residential and Aged Care on Day 1 and IPC in office-based practice on Day 2. Below are just a few of the presentations that resonated with the GAMA team.

Presentation highlights

Day 1

Day 1 opened with an excellent plenary session featuring Adjunct Prof. (Practice) Alison McMillan, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, and Debra Petrys , consumer advisor on The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Alison shared her experience throughout the spread of SARS-CoV-2 as international, national and state jurisdictions adjusted to the emerging evidence, priorities and focus. A consumer advocate with many years of experience, Debra presented "The Covid -19 Pandemic – a consumer's perspective". Debra discussed matters such as vaccination and government policy and believes the issues raised during the pandemic will change the way consumers view and contribute to healthcare decisions in the future.

Day 2

Day 2 highlights focused on the environment and HAIs. Michael Wishart, reminding us of the relationship between the physical environment, surfaces, and pathogen transfer. The need to manage HAI risk in conjunction with a multimodal infection prevention and control programme is key to addressing the three key players of water, air and surfaces in this paradigm.

Following this, Fiona DeSousa offered practical advice on the process of choosing the right product or technology to clean. She shared her 4 step approach:

1) Reviewing cleaning requirements.

2) Good stakeholder engagement with a desktop review.

3) Product evaluation.

4) The final decision process.

Kristie Popkis then shared the recently revised timelines for Standard AS/NZS 4187: Reprocessing of reusable medical devices in health service organisations and the wealth of knowledge provided by our peers on Infexion Connexion.

The Elaine Grahame Robertson Award for Best Oral Presentation was awarded to Magdalena Raban, for her presentation titled: "Reducing antibiotic prescribing using nudges: a systematic review of interventions in primary care", whilst the delegates choice acknowledged Rose Simpsons presentation: "InfectFUN: Making Infection Prevention and Control Education FUN (and effective)".

Fantastic posters were presented

35 fantastic posters were presented this year, and it is impossible to name them all. One of the posters presented focused on hand hygiene from an aged care facility perspective. "Wallsend Aged Care Facility Residents Hand Hygiene Project" described how the team at Wallsend increased residents' compliance and awareness on hand hygiene by 80% for six months by introducing the use of antibacterial hand wipes.

The delegates choice for best poster went to the team at Tamworth Hospital for their informative poster "Don't let the ones you can't see get away. Maintaining consistency with environmental cleaning." This poster highlighted the variability in cleaning practice and the important role of training and good communication in any IPC and quality initiative. A hospital survey to understand the cleaning perceptions of nurses in a Rural Rehabilitation ward, identified that whilst 100% of staff were aware of the correct product to use when cleaning a discharge bed, not all were correct in knowledge and technique.

Tamworth Hospital winning poster at ACIPC Click poster to view full size.

GAMA healthcare was pleased to have been able to partner with this facility to provide bespoke literature illustrating the correct technique for the use of Clinell Universal Wipes when cleaning a discharge bed. We are looking forward to learning outcomes of the survey reviewing knowledge and understanding post these initiatives. Dale Pogsons, "Improving the Blood Culture Collection Process in an Emergency Department", received the 2021 Best Poster Award – Judged. All three posters provided practical information that can affect change for improved outcomes.

We are incredibly excited to hear even more reflections, research, and practical advice when the IPC community finally comes together again in Sydney for ACIPC 2022. If you'd like to read more about the events GAMA has attended over the last year, visit our Events & Exhibitions page on our blog.

Author image for Kate Smith

Kate Smith

Head of Clinical Solutions, GAMA Healthcare Australia

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