Infection Preventionists vs. Infection Control Professionals

posted Jul 8, 2011, 2:14 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 24, 2016, 8:33 AM ]
So, which term do you use? For your organization, are you an Infection Preventionist (IP) or an Infection Control Professional (ICP)? Some even consider themselves as Infection Control Preventionists, a mixture of the two main terms. It is further confusing because the ICP acronym has also stood for an Infection Control Practitioner. What is the correct term so everyone can move on and reduce infections?

Confusion exists in most industries where employment positions are continually evolving. A good example of an evolving profession is Human Resources. The titles and roles for human resource professionals has been a merry-go-round that still hasn’t stopped. Although Human Resources is more established than infection control, confusion still thrives.

According to reports, Infection Preventionist is the prevailing title. However, how well has it been embraced? OUTFOX set out to find the answer. Per the OUTFOX survey at the APIC 2011 show, 47.5% of respondents referred to their profession as Infection Preventionist(IP) and the remaining 52.5% maintained the previous title (ICP). In general though, two titles and acronyms were very loosely tossed around during the APIC show and no one seemed confident in either term.

In order to continually monitor the acceptance of the IP title, OUTFOX is conducting a series online surveys. The OUTFOX survey on Facebook can be found at the following link.

We will keep you informed with our findings. We foresee a continual acceptance for the new Preventionist title but time will tell. Either way, let's clear up the confusion. Then again, I guess either term is fine especially when there are alternative titles for the acronyms that are NOT congruent with your mission to outfox infection (I.e. Internet Protocol [IP] and Insane Clown Posse [ICP]).

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