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Conference Rundown: APSIC 2015

By June 10, 2015 No Comments

A run-down of the recent APSIC 2015, IFSQ 2015 and ECMMID 2015 conferences by Michelle Allen; PhD Candidate with the Centre of Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections, and an AusHSI grant recipient.

As a PhD student, attendance at international conferences is a much coveted experience. I have been very lucky in the past couple of months to attend three international conferences:

  • Asia Pacific Society of Infection Control (APSIC) Conference (26-29 March 2015) in Taipei, Taiwan. This conference brings together those interested in infection prevention in both community and hospital settings from across the Asia Pacific region.
  • International Forum for Safety and Quality (IFSQ) Conference (21-24 April 2015) in London, England.  This conference is run by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and brings together all those interested in improving the quailty of care for patients in all areas of healthcare.
  • European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) Conference (25-29 April 2015) in Copenhagen, Denmark. This conference brings together infectious disease specialists, clinical microbiologists, and all

    those interested in infection prevention across Europe.

These conferences were a wonderful opportunity to present my research to multiple audiences (Oral – APSIC, Poster – IFSQ, and ePoster – ECCMID), as well as learn from others in the field. My research is in improving hospital cleaning to reduce HAIs using methods from implementation science to guide infection prevention interventions.  As I bring together the highlights from these three conferences over the next three days, you will see my love for cleaning, bundles, implementation, and health services innovation shine though.

The Asia Pacific Society of Infection Control (APSIC) Conference in Taipei (26-29 March 2015) started with a bang, as the President of Taiwan highlighted the importance of infection prevention through his own experience during the SARS outbreak in 2003 (Taiwan was severely effected),  followed by a modern take on traditional Chinese dancing.

The three main highlights were:

Firstly, Andrew Voss’s presentation on Infection control in 2025. His delivery was full of humour and great imagery, and he made some great points:

  • basic is the new black (we will always need to get the core things right – repetition);
  • not all MDROs are equal – focus your energy;
  • regional Solutions and co-orperation;
  • change the perception of infection control vs. clinicians;
  • less is more when it comes to guidelines – learn from marketing and behaviour science when trying to communicate;
  • help by design – involve patients, re-design systems, think differently about problems (e.g microbiome), and use technology (Nano-technology, video assisted, virtual reality, gaming, robots).

Secondly, there were several great talks on (my field of interest) the hospital environment, bundles and implementation of complex programs. The speakers were:

  • Stephen Horbath (Switzerland) – hightlighted the evidence to date linking the environment to infections
  • David Weber (USA) – also demonstrated clear linkages between the environment and infection as well as possible new technologies
  • Wang-Huei Sheng (Taiwan) – highlighted the importance of the implementation process when using bundles
  • Didier Pittet (Switzerland) – highlighted the need for multi-disciplinary teams, working within the local context and that implementation is a key factor for success. (#cleanhands #safeHANDS)

Thirdly, the OS sessions (every presentation was less than 10mins – many early career researchers).  These sessions were filled with amazing new research across a variety of settings including:

  • Lutfe Ara (Bangladesh)  – redesigned their sharps safety and Hand hygiene program leading to significant improvements
  • Monica Ling-Roos (Sweden) with a great qualitative study around HH compliance and the effect of culture;
  • Goetha Samethanka (India) drastically reduced vascular access infections;  and
  • Wen Chein Ko (Taiwan) and the use of probiotics and faecal transplants for CDI patients,  just to name a few.


Clockwise (from top left): The president of Taiwan, Me with one of the dancers, Taipei 101, Longshan temple, Confucius statues, Me & Prof. Pittet (with signed book), Dancers from the opening ceremony.

View the Voss Presentation: https://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/iPrevent/inf-control-2025-apsic/1