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Posts Tagged ‘Infection Prevention Society’

ips 2013So I am back ready to work on my thesis today, but I have to admit that half my screen in taken up with Twitter feed…. Usually I am much more disciplined, trying to ensure that I “schedule” Twitter sessions in to my day – but I am making allowances for today/tomorrow so I can keep up with the exciting proceedings still going on at Infection Prevention 2013 (#IP2013).

Impressions of #IP2013

I was, again, overwhelmed by the amazing blend of scale and intimacy of this event, which first struck me last year in Liverpool.  At #IP2012 I was experiencing everything for the first time, including the whole concept of a “full conference”.  My only previous conference experience was the HPA conference, which was held at my own research institution (University of Warwick), therefore had not given me the same immersion opportunity as #IP2012.  So I wasn’t sure how this year’s event would feel – would it have lost some of its charm? Also, this year I had been accepted for oral presentation, giving me another new experience, but also an additional layer of nerves…

Happily #IP2013 more than fulfilled my expectations – from the moment I arrived I found I was rapidly taking notes, excitedly making links to my own work and seeing parallels I could draw between other people’s experiences and my future plans.

ConferenceI love that about conference. The sudden immersion into an environment where everyone shares a common sense of purpose, can understand experiences, and can debate ideas.  As I have – from an academic point of view – been working alone for the past four years, such opportunities are very welcome. 

It was also hugely exciting and a source of great pride to see how many of the key concepts highlighted by the experts in the morning session (more of which later) were reflected in work already been carried out by my IPC heroes.  They really are superstars, and it’s wonderful to know they’re getting to share some of that work at #IP2013 too.

Personal Highlights

As well as sharing my work on Study 3, which explored behavioural drivers to hand hygiene, I also had the opportunity to meet and hear from some leading experts in Infection Prevention.  Here are just a few highlights…

Professor Dale Fisher – offered really useful information about experience in successfully achieving organisational “buy-in”.  Very closely linked to my work and subsequent thoughts on “Meaningful Data”, and thought it was particularly useful to connect with the work of Human Factors (Ergonomics).  Definitely areas to follow up…

Dr Michael Gardam – presented the concept of Front Line Ownership (FLO) as part of a complexity science approach, with the message that solutions to problems may be very context specific. What works for one unit/team/setting may not work for another…  I’m interested in linking this to “Domain Knowledge”, which is a key theme throughout my thesis, so really pleased to see that evidence of successful practice using the FLO approach.

Professor Hugo Sax – provided a clear, logical background for why hand hygiene is vital, with particular emphasis on the role of endogenous infection, something I have discussed, but would like to look at in more depth.  I was particularly interested in the human factors approach, and thought the examples of innovations where error had seemingly been “designed in” through a failure to realise what was intuitive, were very persuasive.  Within hand hygiene I agree that understanding what is intuitive and what requires explicit learning would be of great benefit when designing interventions.

Martin Kiernan – delivering the EM Cottrell Lecture was a clear highlight, not just for me but for the audience as a whole.  Entertaining yet highly informative, “The life and times of the urinary catheter” was a talk spanning 2,000 years, examining (scant!) evidence, demanding action and research, and ending with a self-penned poem.  I don’t think you can ask any more of a speaker can you…except maybe a dance?  Roll on #IP2014…

Finally I also got to meet Pat Cattini and Jon Otter, both of whom made my day possible, and also helped ease my presentation nerves by being wonderfully welcoming, supportive and friendly.  I’m not sure I could have made it to the podium without their reassuring presence in the front row, and it was a fantastic example of the inclusive environment I appreciate from IPS.  Needless to say Jon then gave a flawless and superb talk on targeted MRSA screening – a presentation master class thrown in for free!  I also found out that Pat has an MSc which explored hand hygiene auditing, that she’s familiar with the key papers I’ve based Study 3 on, and that she’s involved in hand hygiene technology trials. In other words, she is my new superhero.

Now, back to the thesis………..the first step on my journey into Infection Prevention!

writing

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Since my last post two things have happened.

Firstly, I am feeling lots better, so quarantine is being lifted and the plan to go to IPS 2012 is still on – Happy Times!

Secondly, my further readings and discussions surrounding the use of the Cochran Q test proved it was unsuitable for what I wanted to do. This is most definitely not good….  All is not lost, and I can still go forward with Study 3, but can only confidently investigate my first Hypothesis regarding Inherent and Elective Trigger activities – what I cannot plan to do is look into the effect of these triggers over time. In other words, how variable people’s Hand Hygiene behaviour is when reacting to these triggers when measured at different opportunities – do the same people always react to the same Inherent Triggers the same way?  Try as we might we cannot find a statistical analysis model that will allow for binary data using a within-subjects design over some element of ‘longitudinal’ measurement.

Off to Liverpool…!
If only my number puzzles were still this simple….

 

So, what I am really hoping will happen now is that I can head to IPS 2012, and find inspiration amongst all the promising talk and poster presenters; who knows what kind of study designers may be Liverpool-bound, just desperate for a new study-puzzle to pour over….?

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The past two days saw me taking my research off to a wider audience via the Health Protection Agency annual conference which was held at the Warwick Arts Centre, located at my own University; very handy for me logistics wise…!

I had a great time, engaging in great discussions via Twitter – taking a guess at using #HPA2012 as a hashtag, as there was no official one being flagged up to start…I’m quite new to Twitter, so not sure if this is standard….but we got there in the end, and I made some wonderful contacts leading to very engaging face-to-face chats. A perfect blend of Social Media and Conference opportunity.

My Poster – The Potential Role of Technology to Improve Hand Hygiene Auditing and prevent Hospital Acquired Gastrointestinal Infections – can be seen here – and is a rather whirlwind tour of my PhD research from start to (almost) finish, with an angle focus on Clostridium Difficile (C.difficile), as the particular stream I was engaging with for this conference was Gastrointestinal Infection – however the PhD itself is not necessarily only focussing on the link between Hand Hygiene and C.difficile as a justification for the importance of the former.

Great interest was shown in all aspects of the work, with different people honing in on different aspects – some on the actual technology examples themselves, others on the topic of auditing as a whole, and many being particularly interested in the concept of “splitting” the “5 Moments” into different behavioural categories; Inherent and Elective.  This latter topic, the focus of my future work, is also featuring more heavily on my next poster, now ready for the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) conference at the beginning of October – and I am looking forward immensely to gathering more views and thoughts during those few days. And before then, it’s back to data collection and analysis…!

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 My part in the WMG Doctoral Conference yesterday ended up going well – having had a weekend with no voice at all and having to stay somewhat horizontal for 48 hours, this was quite a relief!!

I got asked some great questions at the end of my Presentation, and this has given me plenty to think about, and research further.  I shall be uploading the Conference Abstract later this week.

What was excellent was that the themes of the questions coming out (e.g. Hand Hygiene Quality, Individual Differences in what is “Inherent” etc.) were all things we had touched upon during the course of planning this research, and underpin much of the investigative modes of research we plan to use – underpinning the need to really engage the Healthcare Workers in the debate.  

My next goal now that this Conference has passed is to continue planning for the active research stage, including recruitment which is now underway, and looking at attending two further Conferences later in the year – the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Infection Prevention Society (IPS).

I also need to get back out running, having had to miss the race on Sunday…however the weather here is a bit prohibitive at the moment, so tomorrow is looking like a better option.  For the record, tonight I shall be digging in to a rich luxury chocolate cupcake…rewards are essential in research!

Chocolate celebration cake

Cake and Research - natural partners... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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