1. Baker, Kathy A. PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

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Our organization, the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA), has been a national leader in assuring that nurses and associates are well-educated and involved in infection prevention related to gastroenterology endoscopy patient care. Based on organizational priorities, in 2010, SGNA extended an invitation to partners in gastroenterology endoscopy medicine and industry to participate in an inaugural Infection Control Summit that has continued to meet annually. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together interested parties with a commitment to reducing barriers in infection control for gastroenterology endoscopy. Specific objectives for the 2010 Summit included the following:

Kathy A. Baker, PhD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowKathy A. Baker, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

* Discuss current infection control trends in the gastrointestinal (GI)/endoscopy setting.


* Identify barriers when addressing current infection control practices.


* Discuss challenges members of the GI/endoscopy team face in their daily practice.


* Determine action steps that promote best practice and quality initiatives centering on infection control in the care and safety of GI/endoscopy patients.



One outcome of the Summit was development of an Infection Prevention Champion program, an innovative program that involves nurses and technicians in multiple institutions and practices across the country to lead gastroenterology endoscopy environments in implementing current guidelines and industry recommendations, so that patients benefit from exceptional infection preventive care. For a minimum investment of $250 for an annual subscription, gastroenterology endoscopy practice sites can assure their Champion has access and support for exceptional infection-prevention knowledge and resources.


Registered nurses, licensed vocational/practice nurses, and GI technicians (who participate in the Associates program) can participate in this innovative program. In addition to leadership at the practice level, Champions are expected to contribute to discussion at the national level through SGNA, participate in data collection surrounding national infection control practices, and actively engage in professional education related to infection-prevention practices. While managers and supervisors are encouraged to recruit a practice site Champion, individual practitioners interested in becoming a Champion can also initiate their own application as long as they are supported by their manager.


Numerous resources are available in one central location on the SGNA website ( to facilitate easy access to infection-prevention resources. At the site, you will find practice guidelines and documents from leaders in the industry, including SGNA, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the World Health Organization, and The Joint Commission. Best practice tools, educational resources, and even manufacturer guidelines are also easily accessed via the site.


Although pinpointing the exact rate of infection due to endoscopic procedures is difficult (i.e., most symptoms are experienced after the procedure and not always reported appropriately by the patient or provider), the risk for infection from poorly processed endoscopic equipment requires great care and attention from those cleaning and maintaining equipment. The opportunity to participate in an innovative program designed to foster the highest standards of infection prevention in the endoscopy setting is available through SGNA. If you have a passion for exceptional patient care and value the importance of infection prevention in the endoscopy setting, give the Infection Prevention Champion program a look. Be a part of supporting innovation in practice by applying to be a Champion.