The Project Protect Infection Prevention Fellowship: A model for advancing infection prevention competency, quality improvement, and patient safety

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report documented no change in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) between 2009 and 2014. There is a need for investment in additional efforts to reduce HAIs, specifically CAUTI. Quality improvement fellowships are 1 approach to expand the capacity of dedicated leaders and infection prevention champions.


The fellowship used a model that expanded collaboration among disciplines and focused on partnership by recruiting a diverse cohort of fellows and by providing 1-on-1 mentoring to enhance leadership development. The curriculum supported the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Prevention Competency Model in 2 domains: leadership and performance improvement and implementation science.


The fellowship was successful. The fellows and mentors had self-reported high level of satisfaction, fellows’ knowledge increased, and they demonstrated leadership, quality improvement, and implementation science competency within the completed capstone projects.


A model encompassing diverse educational topics, discussions, workshops, and mentorship can serve as a template for developing infection prevention champions. Although this project focused on CAUTI, this template can be used in a variety of settings and applied to a range of other HAIs and performance improvement projects.

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