Congratulations to the organisers of ACIPC Conference 2017 in Canberra. Well done to the Conference Committee and the Scientific Committee. A great program and venue adding to the always enjoyable catch up with colleagues local, national and international.
There were many highlights. Due to other commitments, I missed a few of the major plenaries. Nevertheless, I came away with some clear take home messages from those I did get to, here are just a few of them…
- An emerging theme from the presentations was that of public reporting and financial penalties (PR&FP) associated with healthcare associated infections (HAIs). The likelihood that Australia needs to accept that these are inevitable for a range of HAIs is clear. In case you missed it, Benjamin Magid presented an excellent talk touching on the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care use of what are called Hospital Acquired Complications, that use administrative coding data to detect healthcare associated infections, and which I have blogged about previously.
One of the many advantages of living and working in Australia and hosting keynotes from the US is that they often provide a window to the future. At various stages, Prof Pat Stone, A/Prof Dev Anderson and Dr Susan Huang all related stories about their experience of PR&FP. From their experience it would seem, at some point in time, the implementation of PR&FPs does eventually turn into a positive for infection prevention (and hence our patients). From what we hear, PR&FPs seem to result in a recognition of infection prevention that subsequently provide opportunities to increase resources. Thats not to say there was no pain during the “journey”, and we should be prepared for that. Although Dev Anderson did argue against the notion of PR&FPs in the final debate, he was quick to tweet afterwards that in fact he does support it! Finally on this point, we should continue to explore better use of existing data if validated, strive to minimise the burden of data collection, and consider whether current HAI definitions are suitable for the PR&FP environment.
- The quality of the free papers gets better every year. The addition of the quick poster presentations and the new format of the 3 minute research presentations was a celebration of the excellent research being undertaken in our field. Updates on current studies (e.g. the large and complex REACH project) further added to our awareness of exciting work being undertaken by our colleagues. The next few years will see many of these projects yield new knowledge and fill sessions of conferences to come!
- The consumer voice is powerful. The presentation delivered by Mathew Ames left many in the auditorium not only in tears, but also resolute about the work we undertake.
- Finally for now, I believe the pop up sessions during lunch were a big winner. Informal yet intimate, a great way to get close to those people who are always hard to find at conferences. A great initiative hopefully here to stay..
But thats just some of my impressions from the sessions I saw. You might have seen something completely different. If so, comment below and let us know…
Looking forward to Brisbane in 2018.
TIP: Next year, if you have trouble remembering the correct Twitter hashtag, think character count efficiency...save the character count by dropping the “20” from “2018”
Disclosure – ACIPC Board member (President Elect) and member of the ACIPC Conference Scientific Committee 2017