Infection Control Matters

We are a group of professionals who work in the field of infectious disease and infection prevention and control. In this podcast series, we discuss new research and issues on the topic of infection prevention and control. We will pick new papers of interest and will discuss them, often with an author of the paper who can give us some insights into the research that go beyond the written paper. Authors will include nurses, doctors, academics, clinicians, administrators and leaders. We should stress that all of our comments relate to our own opinions and that they do not necessarily reflect those institutions and employers that we relate to. We welcome comment, suggestions and ideas. Please consider subscribing for updates and to find collections of topic specific podcasts at

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Wednesday Oct 04, 2023

This week, Martin talks to Dr Jennifer Meddings, Associate Professor at University of Michigan Health and Internist at Ann Arbor about a recently published survey looking at what interventions are commonly used to prevent device-associated infections. We discuss the findings and focus in on prevention of urinary catheter-associated infections and new devices that may have an impact.
The paper can be found here:
Saint, S., M. T. Greene, S. L. Krein, K. E. Fowler, K. A. Linder, D. Ratz & J. Meddings (2023) What US hospitals are doing to prevent common device-associated infections during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: Results from a national survey in the United States. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol, 10.1017/ice.2023.65, 1-7.
Other areas and papers that we discuss are here:
New tools that have been developed and piloted in a large surgical collaborative in Michigan, in our project called SUCCESS:  Surgical Urinary Catheter Care Enhancement Safety Study, which has focused on improving urinary catheter safety even beyond CAUTI prevention, including focus on reducing unnecessary use for several common elective procedures, standardizing diagnosis and management of urinary retention, and practices to reduce traumatic injury from catheters and improve success on first catheterization attempt:
Kuriyama, A., K. E. Fowler, J. Meddings, H. Irie, D. Kawakami, H. Iwasaki, M. Sakuraya, K. Katayama, Y. Tokuda & S. Saint (2019) Reducing unnecessary urethral catheter use in Japanese intensive care units: A multicenter interventional study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol, 40, 1272-1274.
Patel, P. K., A. Gupta, V. M. Vaughn, J. D. Mann, J. M. Ameling & J. Meddings (2018) Review of Strategies to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Adult ICUs. J Hosp Med, 13, 105-116.
Patel, P. K., A. Gupta, V. M. Vaughn, J. D. Mann, J. M. Ameling & J. Meddings (2018) Review of Strategies to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) in Adult ICUs. J Hosp Med, 13, 105-116.
Meddings, J., S. Saint, S. L. Krein, E. Gaies, H. Reichert, A. Hickner, S. McNamara, J. D. Mann & L. Mody (2017) Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Urinary Tract Infection in Nursing Home Residents. J Hosp Med, 12, 356-368.

Wednesday Sep 20, 2023

In this episode, Martin Kiernan talks to Dr Giorgia Gon, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about a briefing paper that  identifies research priorities for healthcare cleaning in resource-limited settings. We discuss the process of determining the priorities, the groups involved and the final areas that should be targeted with research funding, including cost-effectiveness, the use of biocides or detergents and minimum requirements.
You can find a copy of the CLEAN Briefing here
Other papers of interest:
1. Cross S, Gon G, Morrison E, Afsana K, Ali SM, Manjang T, et al. An invisible workforce: the neglected role of cleaners in patient safety on maternity units. Glob Health Action. 2019;12:1480085.
2. Gon G, Kabanywanyi AM, Blinkhoff P, Cousens S, Dancer SJ, Graham WJ, et al. The Clean pilot study: evaluation of an environmental hygiene intervention bundle in three Tanzanian hospitals. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:8.
3. Storr J, Kilpatrick C, Lee K. Time for a renewed focus on the role of cleaners in achieving safe health care in low- and middle-income countries. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:59.

Wednesday Sep 06, 2023

In this episode, Martin talks to Giovanni-Battista Fucini about a recent paper from Germany that examined infection rates in critical care in which it was reported that hospitals without sinks in patient rooms have lower infection rates. Newer hospitals in Germany tend not to have sinks in the patient rooms in ICU.
The paper we discuss is here:
Giovanni-Battista, F., C. Geffers, F. Schwab, M. Behnke, W. Sunder, J. Moellmann & P. Gastmeier (2023) Sinks in patient rooms in the ICU are associated with higher rates of hospital-acquired infections. A retrospective analysis of 552 ICUs. J Hosp Infect, 10.1016/j.jhin.2023.05.018.
Other papers of interest are:
Kotay, S. M., H. I. Parikh, K. Barry, H. S. Gweon, W. Guilford, J. Carroll & A. J. Mathers (2020) Nutrients influence the dynamics of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase producing enterobacterales in transplanted hospital sinks. Water Res, 176, 115707.
Constantinides, B., K. K. Chau, T. P. Quan, G. Rodger, M. I. Andersson, K. Jeffery, S. Lipworth, H. S. Gweon, A. Peniket, G. Pike, J. Millo, M. Byukusenge, M. Holdaway, C. Gibbons, A. J. Mathers, D. W. Crook, T. E. A. Peto, A. S. Walker & N. Stoesser (2020) Genomic surveillance of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. in hospital sink drains and patients. Microb Genom, 6.
Mathers, A. J., K. Vegesana, I. German Mesner, K. E. Barry, A. Pannone, J. Baumann, D. W. Crook, N. Stoesser, S. Kotay, J. Carroll & C. D. Sifri (2018) Intensive Care Unit Wastewater Interventions to Prevent Transmission of Multispecies Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase-Producing Organisms. Clin Infect Dis, 67, 171-178.
Grabowski, M., J. M. Lobo, B. Gunnell, K. Enfield, R. Carpenter, L. Barnes & A. J. Mathers (2018) Characterizations of handwashing sink activities in a single hospital medical intensive care unit. J Hosp Infect, 100, e115-e122.
Kotay, S., W. Chai, W. Guilford, K. Barry & A. J. Mathers (2017) Spread from the Sink to the Patient: In Situ Study Using Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-Expressing Escherichia coli To Model Bacterial Dispersion from Hand-Washing Sink-Trap Reservoirs. Appl Environ Microbiol, 83.
Garvey, M. I., N. Williams, A. Gardiner, C. Ruston, M. A. C. Wilkinson, M. Kiernan, J. T. Walker & E. Holden (2023) The sink splash zone. J Hosp Infect, 135, 154-156.

Wednesday Aug 23, 2023

Martin chats to Phil in Melbourne following a recent presentation. Yes, two old farts reminiscing about the days of wearing out the boot leather collecting surveillance data talk with envy about the potential of HAI surveillance in the era of the electronic medical record, automation and artificial intelligence.
Phil refers to data in these two publications:
Designing Surveillance of Healthcare-Associated Infections in the Era of Automation and Reporting Mandates
The prevalence of healthcare associated infections among adult inpatients at nineteen large Australian acute-care public hospitals: a point prevalence survey

Wednesday Aug 09, 2023

We discuss One Health in this episode with Professor Tom Riley, using C.difficile as the example of explaining why the concept of One Health is so important.
Tom is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Australian Society for Microbiology, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and has published over 400 book chapters and refereed publications.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

This week, Martin talks to Jincy Jerry, Assistant Director of Nursing in Infection Prevention and Control at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Jincy is a pioneer in the use of Robotic Process Automation in clinical settings within Irish Healthcare. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate humans actions interacting with digital systems and software. In 2021, the project received Prix Hubert Tuor Innovation Academy Award at the 6th International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC), in Geneva.
We discuss the potential and actual benefits, including the freeing up of hours of IP time as well as the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the infection prevention world.
A review paper on this topic can be found here:
Piaggio, D., M. Zarro, S. Pagliara, M. Andellini, A. Almuhini, A. Maccaro & L. Pecchia (2023) The use of smart environments and robots for infection prevention control: A systematic literature review. Am J Infect Control, 10.1016/j.ajic.2023.03.005.

Wednesday Jul 12, 2023

In this podcast, we talk about the CLEEN and I-CLEEN studies. These are a RCT and quasi-experimental genomics study aiming to determine the effect of additional cleaning of shared medical equipment of the frequency of healthcare associated infections.  We also make phone call mid podcast...
A shout out to all the team involved in this project, including being wonderfully coordinated by Dr Kate Browne and with great support from Georgia Matterson.  Full details on the website below.
Link to study website:
Link to study protocol:
This project is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council Emerging Leadership Investigator grant (Prof Brett Mitchell, (GNT2008392)).

Wednesday Jun 28, 2023

In this episode, Martin Kiernan talks to Sinèad Horgan, Director of Nursing South/South West Hospital Group, and School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork in Ireland. We discuss a journey towards surgical site sueveillance and quality improvement and her recent papers on this topic. We discuss knowledge, attitudes, gaining engagement, buy-in and the importance of patient involvement in SSI prevention.
Papers discussed include:
Horgan S, et al. Healthcare professionals' knowledge and attitudes of surgical site infection and surveillance: A narrative systematic review. Nurse Educ Pract. 2023;69:103637.  HTTPS://doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2023.103637
Horgan S, et al. Impact of a quality improvement intervention on the incidence of surgical site infection in patients undergoing colorectal surgery: Pre-test-post-test design. J Clin Nurs. 2023.  HTTPS://doi:10.1111/jocn.16690
Troughton R, et al. Understanding determinants of infection control practices in surgery: the role of shared ownership and team hierarchy. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019;8:116.  https://doi:10.1186/s13756-019-0565-8

Wednesday Jun 14, 2023

In this episode, we discuss a paper in the Lancet Infectious Disease about preventing non-ventilator associate pneumonia including the determinants of implementationsuccess. Brett and Martin chat with Dr Aline Wolfensberger and Professor Hugo Sax, authors of this paper about this important work.
Link to paper:
Dr Aline Wolfensberger is a medical doctor, certified in Internal Medicine and in Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology. She works at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology of the University Hospital Zurich with Professor Hugo Sax. Prof Hugo Sax is a Swiss ID physician who worked for the last 20 years as a leader in infection prevention and control.

Wednesday May 31, 2023

Brett Mitchell talks to Dr Sarah Browning and Professor Josh Davis about a recent paper in Infection, Disease and Health - "Have gloves and gowns had their day?" The evidence for gloves and gowns is discussed, as well as results from a recent survey into their use in Australia and New Zealand.
Sarah is an infectious disease physician and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Hunter New England (HNE) Health District in NSW, Australia. Josh is infectious disease physician and a clinical trialist, also based at HNE and the Hunter Medical Research Institute.
A link to the article:
Browning, S., Davis, J. S., & Mitchell, B. G. (2023). Have gloves and gowns had their day? An Australian and New Zealand practice and attitudes survey about contact precautions for MRSA and VRE colonisation. Infection, Disease & Health. DOI: 10.1016/j.idh.2023.03.006


About us and contact

Feel free to contact us with suggestions on topics and or speakers. Use Twitter to contact any one or all of us:

Brett Mitchell @1healthau (Twitter link)

Martin Keirnan @emrsa15 (Twitter link)

Deb Friedman @friedmanndeb 

Phil Russo: @PLR_aus (Twitter link)



Martin Kiernan: Martin is a highly experienced nurse who has worked in the field of infection prevention and control since 1990 in the acute hospital community and, more recently, in academic and industry settings with GAMA Healthcare. Martin's reputation as a research collaborator is recognised both nationally and internationally.  Martin’s involvement in professional organisations such as the Infection Prevention Society and the Healthcare Infection Society has enhanced his reputation as a key opinion leader, teacher, leader, and researcher. As a result, he has been invited to act in leadership and mentoring roles to support his colleagues throughout the world in terms of infection prevention.



Professor Brett Mitchell:  Brett is a Professor of Nursing with over 150 peer reviewed journal and oral conference presentations, authored several books, and has been an invited speaker at numerous infection prevention and control conferences in Australia and internationally. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control and the Australian College of Nursing. Professor Mitchell is also Editor-in-Chief of Infection, Disease and Health. Professor Mitchell has experience leading nursing teams, research teams and infection prevention and control teams in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Further details: 



Associate Professor Philip Russo:  Phil is Director of Research, Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Victoria, Australia and Director of Nursing Research, Cabrini Health. A/Prof. Russo is the Past President of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. He has worked in both state and national positions, notably leading the establishment of the VICNISS Surveillance Program in Victoria followed by overseeing the successful implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative sponsored by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. Recently he has been an advisor at both a State and National level in the pandemic response. Further details:

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