A narrative review of how infection preventionist (IP) staffing and outcome metrics are assessed by health care organizations and factors to consider.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American journal of infection control


Humans; Cross Infection; Benchmarking; Workforce; Delivery of Health Care; Health care–associated infections; IP staffing metrics; IP staffing ratios.; renton; washington; montana; great falls; up


BACKGROUND: Infection Preventionist to date are experiencing staffing shortages, the purpose of this narrative review is to understand how heath care organizations track staffing and outcome metrics in relation to Infection Preventionists.

METHODS: Databases utilized included MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar.

RESULTS: The initial search included 668 studies. After excluding duplicates, the title and abstract review yielded 50 articles. After screening full texts, 37 studies met the inclusion criteria. Significant variability exists within infection prevention staffing metrics. Common metrics to account for IP staffing levels include the ratio of IPs per facility and IPs per inpatient bed. Frequently tracked outcomes in relation to infection preventionists include Catheter-associated urinary tract infections and central line bloodstream infection incidence rates and standardized infection ratios, as well as Clostridioides difficile incidence rates. Metrics and outcomes from included studies are available in our supporting tables.

CONCLUSIONS: This review highlights the need for a new IP staffing model that focuses on a granular assessment of each program and care setting. Additional studies can then be conducted to examine how ideal staffing impacts outcome metrics.


Infectious Diseases


Health Care Administration