Why is ICPIC's Patient-Included Status Important? Reply from Barbara Slevin, University Hospital Limerick #ICPIC2019

Barbara Slevin

Barbara Slevin at ICPIC 2019

Inviting patients to speak and participate at medical congresses originally reserved  to professionals is an important step forward for our health systems. This was the case of ICPIC 2019,  the gathering of  1300 specialists of infection and prevention control  from 99 countries, founded by Professor Didier Pittet of Geneva University Hospitals.  I was honored to help introduce the principles of “patient-includedness” to the ICPIC organizing committee and to moderate and or speak at several sessions. 

And so, I had the great fortune of sharing a panel and wonderful exchanges with Barbara Slevin, Assistant Director of Nursing, Infection Prevention & Control at the University Hospital of Limerick,*  who is “patient-included” from the get-go. Her testimonial appears below. Denise Silber

“How important it is to include patients in the conversation on prevention and infection control and how has ICPIC, as a patient included meeting, helped to achieve this”?

Barbara Slevin: I was delighted to be invited to speak in Geneva, Switzerland at International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control  ICPIC,  September 10-13, ICPIC 2019.

“Patient participation and empowerment in infection prevention and control is critical to the successful implementation of Infection Control programs and hospital practices.”

My presentation was titled: “Becoming Patient Centered: Insight into CPE-positive Patient’s Experiences of Clinical Care”.  I have for many years taken a patient-centred approach to Infection control including Quality Improvement strategies and was delighted to see that this conference was patient-included.  

The impact CPE has on patients and their families cannot be underestimated as it shapes their life and their future hospitalisations.  The human costs of CPE cannot be quantified. However patient stories demonstrate the impact this MDRO has on patients’ lives.  Often scientific evidence drives change.  However, from our experience in our hospital group, the impact of the patient’s stories has left an indelible impression on staff in our hospital, and sharing this experience both through publication and presentations at conferences will support others to actively care for CPE patients holistically.

      #PinkSocks for Barbara

Patient stories change the narrative of patient care. Healthcare professionals see beyond the patient in the bed, see further than the laboratory tests, and recognize that this person has several other competing issues and that Multi Drug Resistant Organisms further impact on their recovery.

These are some other initiatives that we have implemented in order to place patients central to Infection Control  practice in my hospital group ULHG Limerick Ireland.  I was part of a project team which implemented an initiative “What Matters to you,”   previously introduced in Scotland.

“What Matters to You” is a program that supports person-centeredness in care. It is a simple approach to capturing issues that are important to the individual in the hospital, that when known by staff can improve patient experiences. We have

@BabsSlevin on Twitter

successfully implemented this in our infection control cohort ward, providing an avenue for patients to be seen holistically not as the patient “with the bug”.    This approach supports caring conversations and compassionate  care for our already vulnerable patient groups.

Our “Values in Action movement” in our Hospital Group has 9 core values, several of which are central to patients.

        “Am I putting myself in other peoples shoes”?

                    “Use my name and your name”

                                “Keep people informed-explain the now and the next”

                                                   “Do an extra kind thing”

*Barbara Slevin, Assistant Director of Nursing, Infection Prevention & Control for CPE Management. UL Hospitals Group, University Hospital Limerick, St. Nessan’s Road,Dooradoyle, Limerick, V94 F858

*Bairbre Ní Shleibhín, Stiúrthóir Cúnta Altranais, Cosc agus Rialú Ionfhabhtuith do Bhainistíocht CPE. Grúpa Ospidéal OL, Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Luimneach, Bóthar N. Neasáin, Luimneach, V94F858

Biography: University Limerick Hospitals Group

Barbara is an Assistant Director of Infection Control Nursing in University Limerick Hospitals Group, Ireland. She qualified as a RGN in 1995 and graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons, with a Master’s Degree in Nursing in 2007, where she conducted a seminal research study on hand hygiene in Ireland. She is a senior nurse leader with over 17 years working in the specialised field of Infection Prevention & Control. She is the Healthcare Associated Infection Lead for the University Limerick Hospitals Group and manages the infection control service for Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) for this group of acute hospitals in the Mid-west region. She has collaborated with a multidisciplinary team in the design of an interdisciplinary Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare module, in University of Limerick and is a member of the organising committee for the Safe Patient Course in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland. She has undertaken post-graduate training in the Royal colleague of physicians (RCPI) on Leadership and quality improvement. She has co-authored several published studies in the academic literature and presented at several national and international infection control conferences. Her main interests within infection control are hand hygiene, Quality Improvement, CPE and patient’s experiences. Her personal goal is to lead and influence the agenda of patient centeredness in infection control at a national level. She is a member of the Infection Prevention Society UK, and Infection Prevention Control Ireland (IPCI).