IPC Tour 2023: GAMA Healthcare and ACIPC partner to foster infection prevention and control discussions across Australia


27th July 2023

Events and Exhibitions

In June 2023, GAMA Healthcare partnered with ACIPC to bring to life the IPC Tour in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. We welcomed more than 330 delegates across the events who enjoyed the opportunity to discuss local challenges while networking with their peers and listening to national and international speakers.

An ever-popular speaker, Martin Kiernan, talked about biofilms and their impact on healthcare and the environment we work in. He discussed the links to Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), their prevalence and potential treatment options. Martin’s presentation on material compatibility brought to light environmental stress cracking and its impact on infection prevention, highlighting the challenges with cleaning and disinfecting damaged equipment. Interesting information was shared on damage caused by all different types of chemicals and the pure increased cleaning we have seen over the last three and a half years.

Belinda Henderson looked at the post-response business as usual (BAU) for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and questioned what BAU really is. The constant adjustment to IPC needs was highlighted, which was a great segway to Ursula Howarth presenting from a pre-hospital care point of view. Ursula discussed how the pandemic has changed infection prevention professionals in the Ambulance Service.

David Weber walked through the role of the environment with a particular focus on environmental decontamination. David shared evidence and experience on best practices from the US which flowed into his second presentation on the new paradigm of IPC. This discussion was a deeper look at technology, the evidence and it’s role in IPC.

Part of our Aged Care focus in Brisbane saw Christine Morrison work through the role of an IPC Lead in Aged Care focusing on the standards and requirements. This was followed by the inaugural Aged Care IPC Workshop, which had 30 attendees working through four stations to get their hands dirty. Some had fit testing performed, others donned PPE, and everyone worked on best practices for hand hygiene.

Our Sydney event included Kathy Dempsey presenting on outbreaks and bed flow management. This topic had many tangents including, communication, staffing, infection prevention, bed flow, and isolation but the missing piece highlighted by Kathy was safety. Patricia Ferguson introduced the delegates to the NSW Early Response Framework which is particularly pertinent to new and emerging pathogens. Brett Mitchell discussed the study on nurses’ and midwives’ cleaning knowledge and attitudes. Brett also spoke briefly about current research being undertaken called the CLEEN study.

The key speakers kept coming in Melbourne with Liz Orr discussing ventilation from an infection prevention perspective and Phil Russo introducing the SMART HAI Surveillance research. This research highlighted current practice that is burdensome, HAIs are missed, and national interventions can’t be measured. Melbourne closed with Suzie Hammouche presenting on a topic that is rarely discussed in this type of forum – influencing stakeholders.

Jonathan Chambers brought the Western Australia COVID-19 story to life with interesting discussions and experiences related to the extended closed borders. Tom Riley was entertaining while sharing his findings on the current C.difficile outbreak and showing links across continents. Kristie Popkiss wanted to hear from the delegates on the challenges our IPC Leads are facing, and everyone was given an opportunity to share.

GAMA Healthcare also partnered with Global Medics and IPCNC to host a successful IPC Tour event in New Zealand, featuring a diverse range of topics and speakers including Ann Whitfield, Brett Mitchell, Dr Sarah Berger, Ethan Walker, Jill Rodricks, Martin Kiernan and Sacha McMillan. Presentations included discussions on cost-effective environmental cleaning to reduce healthcare-associated infections, respiratory precautions versus airborne and droplet transmission, the implementation of reusable silicone tourniquets, nurses’ knowledge and attitudes towards cleaning responsibilities, material compatibility challenges in infection prevention, the implementation of a new IPC intervention bundle, and raising awareness of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections.

Each event ended with a moderated panel discussion where we invited the speakers to answer questions and provide their insights. A lot of conversation was had around the current state of play in the infection prevention field and how to support those wanting to build a career. Even more important was how we attract professionals to the IPC space and nurture those new to the industry and prevent them from leaving.

This IPC Tour was all about sharing in a “post-COVID” environment. The common thread is still trying to find the new normal in a constantly shifting environment. Until next year, may the infections continue to be prevented.

The recording from the Brisbane IPC Tour is now available👇



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