Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)

The Certification Corner

Welcome to The Certification Corner — CBIC's electronic newsletter, bringing you timely
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Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC) CBIC: The Certification Corner
Volume 2; Issue 1
January 2011

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2010 CBIC Past President's Message

Fran Feltovich

Happy New Year, everyone! As 2011 begins, I take time to reflect on the previous year and I must express my appreciation to all who made the year memorable. Thank you, colleagues for your support of CBIC in 2010!

As I reflect back on the year, many CBIC accomplishments come to mind such as the collaborative discussions with APIC leadership regarding promoting certification among APIC members; the “Town Hall” session held at the 2010 APIC annual educational conference to provide a forum for open communication with the CBIC Chair of Test Committee and with me, the CBIC President; the revisions made to the requirements for Test Committee membership to allow non-Board members to participate as committee members; the contractual arrangements with a new management company; the development of the manuscript for publication describing the creation, administration and results of the 2009 Practice Analysis survey; and as a result of the survey, the revision of the exams to reflect the revised content outline. The Practice Analysis article was published in the December issues of the Canadian Journal of Infection Control (CJIC) and the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC).

It has been a wonderful year for CBIC and we look forward to many more accomplishments under the leadership of the 2011 CBIC President, Terrie Lee. Please join me in welcoming Terrie as our new CBIC President.

Fran Feltovich

Fran Feltovich, MBA, RN CIC®, CPHQ
2010 CBIC President

2011 CBIC President’s Message

Fran Feltovich

New Year’s Resolution—

I'm sure many of you have made resolutions for 2011, and I’d like to ask you to add one more to those— to increase the numbers of infection preventionists (IPs) who are board certified in infection prevention and control and who have a current CIC credential! Think about how you felt when you first entered the field of infection prevention and control. If you’re like most people, you were pretty overwhelmed at first, and challenged by the breadth of topics in which this position needs to demonstrate expertise. I commonly hear from new IPs that the job is nothing like what they expected, and that the job is truly unique. Regardless of your background, you no doubt have come to appreciate how special your role is in the patient safety movement. To demonstrate the unique talents you bring to any healthcare setting, I encourage you to become certified in our specialty. If you have already done this, be proud of your achievement, and maintain your certification by retesting at the appropriate interval. If you know colleagues who haven't taken this step of becoming certified, act as their supporter and cheer them on in their endeavors to achieve this mark of excellence and professionalism. There are many APIC and CHICA chapters that promote certification as a chapter activity, and that’s great to hear about. I applaud all chapter and individual efforts to increase the numbers of CICs in all health systems. I'm so proud of all who have become certified and who are maintaining certification in infection prevention and control! I hope we can join together this year and help to improve patient safety by increasing our numbers even more. If you have questions or comments, about the certification process, please contact the CBIC office at info@cbic.org.

Terrie Lee

Terrie Lee
2011 CBIC President

Certifying the professional....Elevating the profession!

Welcome New Board Members

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. welcomes new Board members Celeste Andrews, RN, MS, CIC, Ruth M Carrico PhD, RN, CIC, and Bonnie Norrick, CLS, EdM, CIC.

Celeste Andrews, RN, MS, CIC Celeste Andrews, RN, MS, CIC
A CIC since 2009, new Board member Celeste Andrews is currently the Manager of Infection Prevention at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. In addition to her CIC, she holds an AAS in Medical Assisting; is an RN; has a BS in Health Services Administration; and a MS in Leadership from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Celeste draws on a variety of work experiences including working in physician offices and in industry at the Eastman Kodak Medical Department. She has owned a medical transcription business, and managed hospital units (surgery and inpatient). In addition, Celeste has inpatient RN clinical experience in surgery, medicine, PACU and progressive care. AN APIC member since 2008, Celeste is their Bylaws Representative.
Ruth M Carrico PhD RN CIC Ruth M Carrico, PhD RN, CIC
Some of you may already know new Board member Ruth Carrico from her work as a faculty member for APIC’s EPI 201 course or as an APIC Board Member from 2007 – 2009. Among other leadership roles Ruth has also been editor of APIC’s text of Infection Control and Epidemiology since 2005. Ruth served as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control and Infusion Services at the University of Louisville Hospital, a 400+ bed university-affiliated hospital, from 1994-2005. In 2005, she joined the faculty at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences with the research, teaching and services focus on healthcare-associated infection. This position allows her to interact with all hospitals across Kentucky through collaborations with the Kentucky Hospital Association, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, and other state colleges and universities. Ruth has been a CIC since 1996
Bonnie Norrick, CLS, EdM, CIC Bonnie Norrick, CLS, EdM, CIC
New Board member Bonnie Norrick works as the Manager of Infection Prevention and Control at West Georgia Health (WGH) in LaGrange, Georgia. As a native of Illinois she received her BS in Clinical Laboratory Science and Masters in Education through the University of Illinois before moving to Georgia 1992. She has worked in a variety of healthcare settings ranging from small community hospitals to large metropolitan complexes in a variety of positions; generalist, microbiology and chemistry supervisor. In April of 2007 she took on the role as infection preventionist because she thought it was a perfect fit for her skills as an educator/mentor and scientist. Ms Norrick immediately became a member of APIC and is active in her local chapter as membership chair. Bonnie became a CIC in 2009.

SARE will Change on February 1, 2011

When ordering the SARE, please be sure to use the new SARE Order Form with a Milwaukee, WI address on it. The forms are available on the CBIC website.

The Self-Achievement Recertification Exam (SARE) has been updated based on the 2009 Practice Analysis and will be implemented beginning February 1, 2011.

Here are a few details about this version of the SARE:

  • There are 150 questions, but 135 will be used to compute the score. Similar to the CIC® examination, the SARE will now have 15 unscored pretest items. The pretest items do not count toward the candidate's score, and the candidate will not know which items are being pretested.
  • The format of the questions (items) has not changed compared to previous versions of the SARE. In many instances, items on the SARE are much longer and more complex that those on the CIC® examination. Because the SARE is an "open-book" test, it is expected that candidates may need to spend considerable time reading and researching to determine the correct responses.
  • The process used to establish the passing point (cut score) on the SARE is similar to that used for establishing the passing point for the CIC® examination, as described more fully in the October e–news. Because it is an open–book test, a higher level of performance is expected compared to the proctored CIC® examination.

To read more about recertification options and the SARE, please consult the CBIC website.

CBIC's Recertification Process
Maintaining the Integrity of IP Competency Assessment

This article written by CBIC's Immediate Past President, Fran Feltovich, originally appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of APIC's magazine, Prevention Strategist

By Fran Feltovich, MBA, RN, CIC, CPHQ

During the last few months, CBIC has heard many comments regarding the recertification process. The comments center on three prevailing sentiments:

  1. Recertification requirements should be based on continuing education and not on retesting
  2. Recertification requirements should remain the same.
  3. CBIC should return to giving the answers to the missed questions on the Self-Achievement Recertification Exam (SARE)

Continuing Education versus Retesting
Continuing education (CE), a relatively passive learning tool, is not enough to ensure that competencies are current and well–practiced. Gail Warden, president emeritus of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, stated in the Institute of Medicine's 2009 report, Redesigning Continuing Education in the Health Professions: "Continuing education is the process by which health professionals keep up–to–date with the latest knowledge and advances in healthcare. However, the CE system as it is structured today is so deeply flawed that it cannot properly support the development of health professionals."

Additionally, we know that many states have laws requiring CE to maintain licensure. In response to this, David Swankin, JD, president and CEO of the Citizen Advocacy Center – a training research and support network for public members of healthcare regulatory and governing boards – stated the "CE falls far short in evaluating the true professional needs of healthcare providers, who often select courses based solely on whether they fit their busy schedules. The lifelong learning concept contains the notion of periodic individualized assessment so that professionals know what they need to do to keep improving throughout their careers."

Changes are under way, at both state and national levels, to address competency assessment. Colorado passed a law requiring some of its health licensing boards, such as those licensing social workers and mental health counselors, to develop programs that involve periodic competency assessment. And, despite years of resistance, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) now requires ongoing evaluation of competencies for physician recertification. We find that CBIC is "ahead of the curve!"

Providing Answers to Missed SARE Questions
ICE CBIC is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). One of NCCA's standards requires that certification programs develop and adhere to appropriate, standardized, and secure procedures for the development and administration of the assessment instruments (examinations). Certification programs are responsible for protecting the integrity of assessment information, which includes the questions. The responsibility requires the use of security processes that restrict access to assessment information to authorized individuals. Therefore, providing the missed questions and the correct answers would remove the security associated with the certification examination. However, at the completion of the exam, a report is generated showing how many questions of the total questions in each domain were answered correctly. This report gives an indication as the strengths and weaknesses per domain or subject matter.

Another practice that has occurred and may still be occurring is group study/discussion of the SARE questions. Terrie Lee, CBIC's president–elect and chair of the Test Committee, provides this perspective: "It's a great idea to study topics of infection prevention within a group [whose members share] the same goals of improving their knowledge and understanding of the topics. To take the exam, however, means that the knowledge of the individual is being measured. For that function, group discussion and sharing of information is not appropriate, and is, in fact, legally prohibited.

When answers to the SARE questions were mailed to candidates, the intent was for that information to be used by each candidate to assess his/her performance. However, the answers were widely shared with future candidates whose testing simply measured the ability to successfully copy the answers on their own exams. It was not a measurement of the individual’s knowledge.

Most infection preventionists (IPs) rely heavily on their ability to access resources. However, when an organization hires an IP to manage the infection prevention program, the skills and knowledge of the individual are of paramount importance. The networking abilities and methods of knowing how and when to access resources are all critical skills for success on the job, but at the heart of an individual’s competence is a level of knowledge and understanding that resides in the individual IP."

Thank you for your comments. I welcome more discussion so please feel free to contact me at fleltovich@cbic.org.

Why Do IPs Get Certified?

By Paul Field
CBIC Consumer Director
Chief Strategy Officer, Renegade Communications, Hunt Valley Maryland

850 APIC and CHICA members completed an on-line survey in the spring of 2009, helping us understand why IPs get certified and the value of certification in their lives. This research was part of CBIC’s strategic planning process, and a valuable contribution to understanding the real world of the profession. We are using this information to better shape our brand and messages with certificants, non-certificants, and the professional world that surrounds them. These insights are helping us to make sure the certification program and the communications around it make the most sense for supporting and growing our profession.

Click here to read the full article

IFIC/IPCAN Conference Update

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)
Attending the IFIC Congress are (L to R) CBIC Director Glenda Schuh, 2010 CHICA-Canada President and 2010 CHICA-Canada’s liaison to CBIC, Anne Bialachowski, and 2010 CBIC President Fran Feltovich.
Fran Feltovich, 2010 CBIC President attended the Joint Conference of the Infection Prevention and Control African Network (IPCAN) and the International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC) in Cape Town, South Africa, August 29 – September 1, 2010. Approximately 270 delegates were in attendance. This was the second IPCAN educational conference with the first conference held in Uganda in 2009.

The sessions included representation from the World Health Organization which focused on injection safety, patient safety and outbreak investigation, and the International Society of Chemotherapy focusing on antibiotic stewardship. Other sessions focused on infection prevention and control (IP&C) in developing countries: priorities, constraints, and feasible interventions; environmental cleaning and disinfection; IP&C in emergency services; hand hygiene compliance; safe processing of medical devices; effective strategies in adult education; occupational exposure to blood and body fluids; community based IP&C programs; pros and cons of electronic surveillance; controversies in vaccination: measles, influenza, etc; hospital design and infection control; TB, rotovirus, HIV, HBV, SSIs, MRSA, and healthcare waste. CBIC Director, Glenda Schuh moderated a session entitled, "Starting with Basics in Infection Prevention and Control – Standard Precautions and PPE".

International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC)
Attendees from around the world at the IFIC congress are (L to R): Gertie van Knippenberg-Gordebeke, the Netherlands; Corinne Ostendorf, Germany; Nagwa Khamis, Egypt
It was apparent that the attendees at the IFIC conference were those who were interested in professional development. By attending this meeting, talking to the attendees about IP&C practice and how certification is viewed either personally or by a healthcare facility, are developed a better appreciation of the needs of our international colleagues as it pertains to certification and a better understanding of the incentives to become certified.

IFIC President, Dr. Michael Borg invited CBIC to provide certification information at the IFIC booth. A one–page handout on "What is certification and why become certified" was provided.

Have you got a story to share with others about the value of your certification? Send it to info@cbic.org for possible publication in a future issue of the newsletter or to be posted on the CBIC website!

CBIC Members part of APIC's 2010 Heros of Infection!


CBIC Board Member, Marie Kassai, RN, BSN, MPH, CIC and former CBIC President (2003), Kathy Horn, RN, CIC are part of a group whose story was highlighted recently on the APIC website! Click here to read the article.

Thank you for reading CBIC's January, 2011 E-Newsletter.
To send suggestions for future articles or feedback on this issue,
please write to info@cbic.org.

Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC)