Infection prevention and control is in your hands

New e-learning module provides skills upgrade and education

A new bilingual e-learning course developed by the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team was launched this October to update healthcare professionals on the most current information on infection prevention and refresh their training on best practices in the field.

“We’ve been seeing an increase in outbreaks of serious but avoidable infectious cases, so our team’s goal with this online module is to promote better healthcare practices so that we can minimize the number of healthcare-acquired infections throughout our entire network,” says IPAC Nursing Consultant Lara Maalouf. “Infections can be transmitted between our clients, patients or residents, between healthcare staff, and between staff and users, so we need to work together to make our facilities safer for both users and our colleagues.”

Information and Instructional Media Designer Barbara Reney, who was instrumental in designing the online course, explains that staff can complete the course material either on site through the CIUSSS intranet or remotely, at their own pace and at a time convenient to their schedule. All healthcare professionals who successfully complete the online course and short questionnaire receive one hour professional development accreditation.

The course begins by explaining how infections are transmitted. It then describes the Routine Practices that staff should follow for prevention, such as proper hand hygiene and handling of protective equipment. Once an infection is suspected or confirmed, staff must undertake Additional Precautions, which are easy to identify through a colour-coded table and instructions.

The course also provides current information on known Hospital Acquired Infections, among them drug- or antibiotic-resistant bacteria (such as MRSA) and respiratory infections (such as influenza-like viruses). Each is followed by explicit IPAC measures on how to prevent their occurrence and spread. “Any one of these hospital-acquired infections is serious, some potentially life-threatening for all patients in our care, visiting family members, staff and the greater CIUSSS community,” says Silvana Perna, the Coordinator of IPAC. “Unfortunately, some patients come into our care for one reason and have their stay extended because of complications from one or more hospital-acquired infections. This impacts on both quality of life as well as costs to limited hospital resources. This is why we encourage all healthcare professionals, as well as stagiaires, to take the course,” says Ms. Perna.

The IPAC team plans to launch another course, which is now in development, designed specifically for healthcare workers who are in contact with patients, such as the PABs and transport attendants.

To complete the course on site and provide feedback on its content, visit the CIUSSS IPAC intranet page under Training > Infection prevention and control. If you prefer to access the course remotely, type this URL into your browser:

Direct questions regarding course content to IPAC Nursing Consultants Lara Maalouf at or Sabine Cainer at For questions regarding remote access, contact Barbara Reney at