The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) Center for Health Innovation and other national health care organizations, have partnered on an initiative to improve infection prevention and control in health care facilities.
The initiative, called Project Firstline, is a national training collaborative that helps health care workers at every level and in every department understand and adhere to infection control best practices as they respond to COVID-19.
“Health care workers play a crucial role in our nation’s response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” says CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Disease Jay Butler, M.D. “It is critical that every health care worker in the United States has the training, information and resources they need to protect themselves, their patients, colleagues, families and communities from infections, and Project Firstline is designed to meet that need.”
The initiative includes a series of video trainings, each lasting about 10 minutes to accommodate busy schedules. The interactive videos have built-in knowledge checks to keep staff engaged, and the content is accessible to everyone regardless of previous training.
Project Firstline vlogs cover topics such as how viruses spread from surfaces to people, the difference between cleaning and disinfection, the role of air handling in reducing infection spread, and what types of personal protective equipment are recommended to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The videos are released weekly on Facebook at facebook.com/CDCProjectFirstline.
“Whether a health care worker’s role is in environmental services or in the operating room, infection control is a team effort, and Project Firstline was developed for them,” Butler says.
To complement the vlog series, the AHA is releasing thought leadership editorials, webinars, case studies and more.
A webinar titled “What Health Care Needs to Know About Infection Control & the Environment of Care,” hosted by Patti Costello, executive director of the Association for the Health Care Environment, discussed why health care environmental services leaders need to play an integral role in developing infection prevention procedures. Costello was joined by two experts from the CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion for the webinar.
“The more we can educate health care workers on not just what to do, but why, the more likely they will do the right thing every time,” says Marie Cleary-Fishman, vice president of clinical quality for the AHA Center for Health Innovation.
“When we help staff understand the ‘why’ behind a process, we see better compliance with policies and procedures.”