US Infection Preventionists

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US Infection Preventionists

According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the agency in charge of infection preventionists in the United States, the major role of infection preventionists (IPs) is to interpret evidence and act as champions for key infection prevention and control which in turn leads to a low rate of infection. There is a collaboration between healthcare professionals, IPs, and risk managers. This collaboration will create a pathway toward permanently addressing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

US Infection Preventionists

  • The major role of IPs is to interpret evidence and act as champions for key infection prevention and control which in turn leads to a low rate of infection.
  • As per the report by Healthcare-Prevention Infections Program, the major role of infection preventionists in healthcare is prevention. The report notes that, for successful HAI prevention, IPs are to function as evaluators, HAI prevention experts, consultant and influencer, educator, collaborator, liaison, mentor and leader, and as a customer service agent.
  • The association in charge of infection preventionists in the United States is the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
  • Many IPs are employed in healthcare institutions serving as educators, consultants, researchers, and clinical scientists.
  • The majority of APIC members are involved with acute care settings where they direct programs that protect patients and personnel from healthcare-associated infections.
  • APIC members also function in long-term care and home healthcare where there is much need for infection prevention and control and a low number of nurses and other healthcare personnel.
  • According to Pharmacy One Source, IPs are major stakeholders in patient safety and quality improvement activities.
  • Janet Haas, the President of the APIC, says there is a growing need for infection preventionists to acquire certification for their occupation.
  • There are more than 16,000 infection preventionists in the United States with certified members 25% larger than the non-certified members.
  • APIC is tasked with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data to aid the tracking of infection trends, effectively plan interventions, evaluate success rates, and report any relevant information to public health agencies.
  • Establishing scientifically-based infection prevention practices and collaboration with the healthcare team to ensure implementation.
  • Functioning as a unit to prevent HAIs in healthcare facilities through the isolation of infections sources and limiting transmission.
  • Teach and train healthcare personnel and the public about infectious diseases and how to curb its spread.
  • According to a report by Infection Control Today (ICT), there is a collaboration between healthcare professionals, infection preventionists, and risk managers.
  • This collaboration, if increased, will become a positive step toward addressing HAIs.
  • Ana Pujols McKee opines that IPs can aid hospital leaders and executives in promoting patient safety culture across hospital units.
  • A 2018 survey on healthcare administrator perceptions of IPs indicates that healthcare leaders surveyed indicated positive interest in IPs' function in stewardship programs.
  • ICT also reports that "the relationship between the infection prevention and risk management departments at a hospital is a crucial one, and it provides the foundation upon which patient safety and quality improvement efforts can be built."
  • Safety/risk managers can help lighten the bulk of work on IPs by coordinating the training of EVS/housekeeping, nursing, and respiratory therapy staff.
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US Infection Preventionists: Psychographic Profile

The social media habits of infection prevention specialists in the United States include inquiring for information on continuing their medical education, reference materials, and scientific data. Some conferences they attend are the Annual Infection Prevention Conference and CASA's Infection Prevention Seminar.

The Association of Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology

  • The Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC) is an entity dedicated to individuals operating as infection preventionists (IPs).
  • As stated on the APIC website, the majority of its members consist of those acting in various roles in the medical field, including medical technologists, nurses, microbiologists, physicians, epidemiologists, and public health professionals.
  • The association assists these individuals in gathering, interpreting, and examining information to gauge success, share critical data with health institutions, provide information about infections and diseases to the public and healthcare personnel, plan the correct interventions, track infection trends, etc.

Social Media Habits

  • According to SimilarWeb, only 1.22% of the APIC website's traffic comes from social media sources. Meanwhile, approximately 77.11% of its traffic originates from searches. Topics that those individuals show interest in include the Mayo Clinic and continuing medical education.
  • Around 70.10% of the website's traffic from social media channels comes from Facebook, while 29.90% comes from Twitter.
  • Regarding traffic from searches, the top organic keywords for the website include "apic" (12.75%) and "cic certification" (2.54%).
  • Almost one-third of physicians, who help make up the majority of APIC members, partake in various social networks for professional and personal reasons.
  • Another site frequented by infection preventionists is Infection Today, which SimilarWeb reports has 1.25% of its web traffic coming from social media and 79.18% from searches.
  • Infection Today's social media traffic breakdown goes as follows: Facebook (69.99%), Twitter (19.44%), LinkedIn (6.50%), and YouTube (4.07%).
  • For Infection Today, visitors, which primarily consists of infection prevention specialists, interests include reference materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, as well as topics surrounding science and education and health conditions/concerns.

Preferred Media Outlets

  • Some media outlets that infection preventionists who frequent the Infection Today website (nearly 200,000 monthly visits) visit include Researchgate, Science Direct, and WebMD.
  • Meanwhile, those who use the APIC website, which currently has more than 53,000 monthly visits, exhibit a preference for using Science Direct.

Conferences They Attend

  • One conference that infection prevention specialists partake in is the Annual Infection Prevention Conference hosted by VCU Health and the Department of Infection Prevention, Control, & Epidemiology. At this gathering, healthcare professionals, including infection prevention specialists discuss practices for infection control and prevention, present procedures for disinfection and sterilization, and analyze techniques for stopping infectious diseases from spreading to patients and healthcare workers.
  • The next event is scheduled for September 12, 2019, in Glen Allen, Virginia. The speakers include Mark Rupp, M.D., Amy J. Mathers, M.D., and Priya Nori, M.D. Additionally, there will be a discussion panel on topics surrounding infection prevention.
  • The Applied Learning Conference from the APIC is brand-new and is targeted at infection preventionists seeking to progress their careers. This two-day event will offer resources to help them improve and network with others in the field. It will be centered on antibiotics and microbiology, as well as topics such as sterilization, disinfection, and cleaning.
  • The 1st Applied Learning Conference is scheduled for October 26-27, 2019, and will occur at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in St. Louis, Missouri.

Leading Influencers

  • While working at Clark Regional Medical Center, Teresa Daniels helped developed a program educating the environmental services (EVS) staff members about terminal cleaning, multidrug-resistant organisms, environmental surfaces contamination, and high-touch cleaning. The program was based on both APIC and environmental surfaces cleaning guidelines and resulted in a reduction in HA-CDI rates at the facility within a year. She later implemented the program at another health facility, leading to similar results.
  • She, along with her EVS team, eventually developed a three-level ladder program that concentrated on performance enhancement, certification, and education. Furthermore, she advised the Association for the Health Care Environment and the Kentucky Hospital Association to initiate "train-the-trainer training" for EVS workers statewide.
  • Daniels served as the host at the very first statewide training seminar for Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians (T-CHEST) in the United States in 2018. In 2019, she was honored at the APIC's 46th Annual Conference and was awarded the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award.

Additional Findings

Though this survey presented by Infection Control Today is outdated, some statistics may still be beneficial.

  • Percentage of infection preventionists that use social media for causes related to infection prevention: 35% No, 65% Yes
  • Uses social media for personal, non-work means: 32% No, 68% Yes
  • Engages in social media for the purpose of professional networking: 58% No, 42% Yes


  • Uses social media to obtain educational material: 20%
  • Uses social media to network with colleagues: 32%

  • Under one hour each day: 63%
  • Under five hours each day: 15%

  • Uses the Internet to find information from news/media outlets: 33%
  • Utilizes the Internet to find information from agencies such as NIOSH and the CDC: 55%
  • Uses the Internet to locate information from professional societies/associations: 55%

Research Strategies:

The majority of our research was readily available in the public domain. We began by observing the official website of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC) to find surveys/studies or reports detailing the social media habits of infection preventionists. The APIC is primarily concentrated on providing resources to infection prevention specialists and those in related fields, which is why we believed it would contain useful data. Though the organization presented valuable information, such as various conferences for infection prevention specialists, we could not locate any statistics on the prevalence of social media users nor was there information on prominent influencers. We also visited Infection Control Today, which provides information to infection preventionists, to find surveys or studies on social media use for the group and influencers. This approach also did not produce the results we were seeking. While we were able to find a social media survey involving infection preventionists on the Infection Control Today website, it is from December 2012 and severely outdated.

We then searched for press releases on the APIC website, hoping to find a survey on social media use amongst infection prevention specialists. The results we found primarily concerned about the advantages of using social media to spread awareness about infection prevention. Nonetheless, we did acquire information on well-known individuals operating within the infection prevention spectrum that have received recognition for their contributions. We decided to use this as the basis for the leading influencers in the market section of the request, basing our selection on awards granted by associations/organizations for innovative achievements or spreading awareness.

Continuing with our search for social media use for infection prevention specialists, we then searched SimilarWeb to find statistics on web traffic and audience interest for the APIC and Infection Today website. There, we were able to find the share of the websites' traffic that comes from social sources and searches, along with topics that visitors show interest towards. We assumed that since the APIC is a major association for infection preventionists (over 15,000 members), the statistics presented on SimilarWeb would be relevant to this request. Furthermore, we located a report stating that nearly one-third of physicians utilize social networks for both professional and personal means. As physicians make up a significant portion of the APIC's organization, we assumed that this statistic applies to infection prevention specialists as well.

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US Infection Preventionists: Market Size

The US infection prevention market is estimated at $26 billion and by 2020, will be worth an estimated $27.6 billion growing at CAGR of 4.9%.

the us infection prevention market


To provide the US market size of the infection prevention market, we leverage information provided by market report sites. We began by searching through market reports sites like MarketsandMarkets, Grandview Report, Transparency Market Research, MarketWatch, among others. We were able to find reports by ReportsIntellect and PMR on the 2019 market analysis of the infection prevention market but the information was only available behind a paywall. We also found reports by Freedonia Group but the information presented was the 2020 market forecast and according to the reports, the forecast was analyzed from historical market data.

Then, we extended our search beyond the standard 2-year period in other to find historical data which we could use to estimate the current market. After combing through several sources, we found a 2015 report by Harris William & Co. on the global and US infection prevention market. The market estimates found on the report corresponds to recent 2020 market forecasts of the US infection prevention market. Owing to the lack of publicly available recent market estimates, we have presented the estimated 2019 market size of the US infection prevention market from the 2015 report and recent forecast of the 2020 market size.

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Number of US Infection Preventionists

After extensive research, our research team was able to locate the total number of infection prevention specialists (IPS) in the United States to be 456,377 estimated. Continue below for a deep dive into our findings, research strategy, and calculations.


  • The total number of infection prevention specialists (IPS) in the United States was estimated to be 456,377.
  • According to a survey conducted by the Association of Professionals in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, the median IP staffing was 1.25 IPs per 100 inpatients.
  • According to a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association, the total number of inpatients in the United States was estimated to be 36,510,207.
  • An infection prevention specialist is a person that provides a safe environment for medical staff, patients, and visitors.
  • An inpatient is a person whose condition requires treatment in a hospital or other health care facility admitted by a doctor.


To locate the total number of infection prevention specialists in the United States, we began by combing through government websites like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. The result of this strategy failed to locate the required information. What we did find was information referencing significant progress made in preventing some healthcare-associated infection and prevention activities in the United States.

We went further to scoured press releases and industries reports for information regarding the total number of infection prevention specialists in the United States. Again, this strategy was unsuccessful. Information found were referencing the market size and growth rate of infection prevention market in the United States — there was no information regarding the staffing strength of this market.

Next, our research team scoured professional network databases like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and Indeed for information regarding the total number of infection prevention specialists in the United States. Unfortunately, there was no publicly available information regarding the total number of infection prevention specialists in the United States. Information found were referencing the average salaries of infection prevention specialists, the number of jobs postings, and job description for infection prevention specialists.

Lastly, we attempted to triangulate the total number of infection prevention specialists in the United States by locating the number of infection prevention specialists expected to be in a healthcare facility and the total number of patient in the facility. This strategy was successful as we were able to unearth data points that were used to triangulate the requested information.


Number of IPS per inpatient = 1.25 / 100 = 0.0125
Total number of inpatient in the United States = 36,510,207
Total number of IPS in the United States = 36,510,207 x 0.0125 = 456,377