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 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

Wednesday May 17, 2023

In this episode Phil talks to A/Prof Noleen Bennett* about the state of surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship and what her research has discovered in this area. Noleen also tells about an exciting project she is leading called NISPAC, a streamlined infection and antimicrobial use surveillance system for Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities.
*Associate Professor Noleen Bennett. Infection Control Consultant, Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance Coordinating Centre and the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship.
Further information:
An evaluation of influenza, pneumococcal and herpes zoster vaccination coverage in Australian aged care residents, 2018 to 2022
Infection prevention quality indicators in aged care: ready for a national approach
Skin and soft tissue infections and current antimicrobial prescribing practices in Australian aged care residents

Thursday May 04, 2023

In this episode recorded at the 2023 SHEA Spring Meeting in Seattle, Martin talks to Associate Professor Alex Sundermann about his work on sequencing all isolates from local healthcare settings and the discoveries that this enables. Healthcare infections due to previous admissions, endoscopes, even pseudo-outbreaks are all laid bare by this approach. Some recent papers from the group are listed below:
1. Sundermann AJ, et al. Two artificial tears outbreak-associated cases of XDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa detected through whole genome sequencing-based surveillance. medRxiv. 2023.
https://doi:10.1101/2023.04.11.23288417 2. Sundermann AJ, et al. Sensitivity of National Healthcare Safety Network definitions to capture healthcare-associated transmission identified by whole-genome sequencing surveillance. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023:1-3. https://doi:10.1017/ice.2023.52 3. Branch-Elliman W, et al. The future of automated infection detection: Innovation to transform practice (Part III/III). Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol. 2023;3(1):e26. https://doi:10.1017/ash.2022.333 4. Sundermann AJ, et al. Whole-genome sequencing surveillance and machine learning for healthcare outbreak detection and investigation: A systematic review and summary. Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol. 2022;2(1):e91. https://doi:10.1017/ash.2021.241 5. Sundermann AJ, et al. Whole-Genome Sequencing Surveillance and Machine Learning of the Electronic Health Record for Enhanced Healthcare Outbreak Detection. Clin Infect Dis. 2022;75(3):476-482. https://doi:10.1093/cid/ciab946 6. Sundermann AJ, et al. Outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infections from a Contaminated Gastroscope Detected by Whole Genome Sequencing Surveillance. Clin Infect Dis. 2021;73(3):e638-e642. https://doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa18877. Kumar P, et al. Method for Economic Evaluation of Bacterial Whole Genome Sequencing Surveillance Compared to Standard of Care in Detecting Hospital Outbreaks. Clin Infect Dis. 2021;73(1):e9-e18. https://doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa512 8. Sundermann AJ, et al. Automated data mining of the electronic health record for investigation of healthcare-associated outbreaks. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2019:1-6. https://doi:10.1017/ice.2018.343

Thursday Apr 27, 2023

In this second discussion of an abstract presented at the SHEA Spring meeting 2023 in Seattle, Martin talks to MPH candidate Olivia Hess about her work on staff opinions of automated hand hygiene monitoring. Olivia works as a member of Dr Gonzalo Bearman's group at VCU Health (Virginia Commonwealth University) in Richmond, Virginia. We discuss staff attitudes to the technology and it's utility, which are almost universally negative.
Some recent papers on automated hand hygiene monitoring:
M. A. Tremblay, et al. 2022 Investigation of Individual Nurses' Relative Hand Hygiene Performance Using an Anonymous Automated Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System and a Nursing Assignment Schedule Am J Infect Control https://10.1016/j.ajic.2022.05.026
V. Mouajou, et al. 2022 Hand hygiene compliance in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections: a systematic review J Hosp Infect 119 33-48 https://10.1016/j.jhin.2021.09.016
K. J. McKay, et al. 2022 Healthcare workers' experiences of video-based monitoring of hand hygiene behaviours: a qualitative study Am J Infect Control https://10.1016/j.ajic.2022.03.010
D. J. Durant, et al. 2020 Adoption of electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems in New York state hospitals and the associated impact on hospital-acquired C. difficile infection rates Am J Infect Control 48 7 733-739 https://10.1016/j.ajic.2020.04.005
And thanks to Marco Bo Hansen for reminding us of this recent paper
A. R. Knudsen, et al. 2023 Individual hand hygiene improvements and effects on healthcare-associated infections: A long-term follow-up study using an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system J Hosp Infect In Press https://10.1016/j.jhin.2023.02.017

Thursday Apr 20, 2023

In this episode recorded at the 2023 SHEA Spring Meeting in Seattle, Martin talks to abstract presenter Dr Lamia Alam about the work of a Johns' Hopkins group on a systematic review of human factors relating to cleaning in the Operating Room. We discuss the abstract presented at the meeting and also previous work in human factors and environmental service workers from this group that are particular favourites of Martin's (detailed below).
Relevant papers:
1. A. Xie, et al. 2018 Improving Daily Patient Room Cleaning: An Observational Study Using a Human Factors and Systems Engineering Approach IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors 6 3-4 178-191 https://10.1080/24725838.2018.1487348
2. C. Rock, et al. 2016 Using a Human Factors Engineering Approach to Improve Patient Room Cleaning and Disinfection Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 37 12 1502-1506 https://10.1017/ice.2016.219

The 100th

Friday Apr 14, 2023

Friday Apr 14, 2023

This is the 100th episode of Infection Control Matters and includes a special announcement. A big thanks to our 110+ guests so far. In this podcast, Martin, Brett and Phil talk about what we've not covered, some stats and what is to come next.
Check out out new website:

Thursday Apr 06, 2023

In this episode, Martin Kiernan talks to Dr Valeria Fabre, Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and  Associate Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and an Associate Hospital Epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. We discuss the recent SHEA position paper on practical aspects of diagnostic stewardship and the use of the diagnostic pathway (ie, ordering, collecting, processing, reporting, and interpreting results of a diagnostic test).
Paper discussed:
Fabre V, et al. Principles of diagnostic stewardship: A practical guide from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Diagnostic Stewardship Task Force. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023;44(2):178-185.  https://doi:10.1017/ice.2023.5
Other recent papers on this subject:
Warren BG, et al. Evaluation of hospital blood culture utilization rates to identify opportunities for diagnostic stewardship. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023;44(2):200-205. https://doi:10.1017/ice.2022.191
Shallal AB, et al. Role of diagnostic stewardship in reducing healthcare-facility-onset Clostridioides difficile infections. Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol. 2023;3(1):e53. https://doi:10.1017/ash.2022.305
Morgan DJ, et al. Diagnostic Stewardship to Prevent Diagnostic Error. JAMA. 2023. https://doi:10.1001/jama.2023.1678
Chiotos K, et al. Mixed-methods process evaluation of a respiratory-culture diagnostic stewardship intervention. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023;44(2):191-199. https://doi:10.1017/ice.2022.299
Advani SD, et al. Optimizing reflex urine cultures: Using a population-specific approach to diagnostic stewardship. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2023;44(2):206-209. https://doi:10.1017/ice.2022.315

Wednesday Mar 29, 2023

In this episode Brett and Martin talk to Mairéad Skally and Prof Fidelma Fitzpatrick about their efforts to minimise Clostridioides difficile infections in the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Mairéad is a Surveillance Scientist and Fidelma is a Consultant Microbiologist and also Head of Department of Clinical Microbiology at the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland). We discuss 10 years of surveillance in the Beaumont and analysis of a rich pool of data that has helped them achieve a status quo.
The paper we discuss is here:
Skally M, Bennett K, Burns K, Brennan R, Finn C, O’Connell K, et al. A decade of Clostridioides difficile infection: A constant challenge to maintain the status quo. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2023 in press https://doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2023.02.008


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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