NATIONAL INFECTION CONTROL WEEK
Planning Your Week
National Infection Control Week provides an opportunity to engage your stakeholders in a conversation about infection prevention and control (IPAC). One way this can be done is by offering a variety of activities to capture the attention of a wide variety of people and departments.
Your first task is to identify your mission statement and the goals and objectives that you hope to achieve during NICW. This might be as simple as creating awareness of the IPAC department, to the more complicated outcomes of improving knowledge and skill
A Mission statement is an overarching statement of the outcome you desire. When developing your Mission Statement: a) be realistic - a single focus, done well, can be more effective than attempting to do too much b) consider the current level of practice of staff c) address the priority needs of your organization
Some sample mission statements:
- To create awareness and knowledge of the role of the Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner/Infection Prevention and Control Committee
- To promote good hand washing by all staff
- To educate and promote preventive measures for a specific infectious disease which is of concern in your organization
Keep in mind that, as planning progresses, the Mission Statement may become more precise or enlarged. However, in order to receive approval and authorization to proceed, the effectiveness and credibility of the initial proposal requires a well-defined intent.
The next task is to obtain a full mandate from all levels of management in your organization in order to promote the success of the event.
The Planning Committee
Consider a Planning Committee of 4 or 5 people, which is manageable and sufficient to distribute the workload. Members may then choose to form sub-groups for each task. . Whether your plans are simple or elaborate, you will find it helpful to obtain the assistance of at least one other person. A one-person show is impressive, but quickly leads to burnout (yours!).
a) Consider the following for selecting committee members:
- An interest in the project
- Time to support the project
- Representation from various areas of the workplace (e.g. Housekeeping, Food Services, Volunteers, Direct Care)
- Organization skills
- Valuable skills or contacts
- Team work skills
b) Planning the first committee meeting
A well-organized meeting reassures your committee members that time is valued.
Some guidelines to consider include:
- Appoint a recording secretary to take minutes
- Set a meeting date, time and location that is convenient for all members
- Prepare an agenda for distribution prior to the meeting
c) Create an agenda to guide discussion and keep the meeting focused. Some items might include:
- Review the initial Mission Statement (goals, objectives).
- If necessary, refine the statement and reach a group consensus.
- Determine who the target group(s) will be (e.g. all staff, a particular department or professional group, students, volunteers, groups outside your organization).
- Set the date and duration of the event. The date may be chosen to coincide with National Infection Control Week and should not conflict with another major event in your organization. The duration will depend on the extent of your project. It may be advisable to plan for one day if this is your initial venture or if time is limited.
- Determine which members will undertake specific areas of planning and develop any necessary sub-groups.
- Present and review task lists for each planning group (e.g. scientific/educational, activities, finances, exhibitions/displays, hospitality).
- Circulate task worksheets to each Committee group coordinator. Some samples:
- Fill in tasks as agreed upon by the Committee. Set target dates for tasks. Be realistic but leave sufficient time to obtain responses or to choose alternatives, if necessary.
- Determine the number and frequency of meetings which will be required.
- Set a date for the next meeting.
d) Follow-up: Provide leadership to your committee
- Circulate minutes to members.
- Keep appropriate management personnel informed of the progression of plans.
- Revise the task worksheets for distribution to each Committee group coordinator.
- Liaise, coordinate, and support problem-solving.
- Consistently acknowledge the achievements of your committee. Show your appreciation.
- Maintain the meeting format throughout the planning process.