$1 Million in Scientific Impact!
Sometimes two years can feel like a heartbeat and sometimes it can feel like a lifetime. As we mark the two-year milestone since launching InfectionControl.tips, we feel the simultaneous excitement of a new life just beginning and the reflection that comes from time, experience and lessons learned.
As of November 15, 2017, The Infection Prevention Strategy (TIPS) has contributed over $1,000,000 in scientific impact towards our goal of advancing innovation and improving patient safety. In just two short years, our team of volunteers has made a difference around the world, independently advancing new innovations, ideas, and protocols that show promise in global health.
Significant Year 2 Achievements
Our revolutionary platform provided evidence-based science for several remarkable innovations. Our work on Rapid Temperature Screening for Workplace Health involved a real-world subject study that involved IRB/Ethics approval and engagement within multiple hospital environments. Our team developed the methods and study design, obtained IRB approval and conducted the participant screening and evaluation. We followed up the study with a peer-reviewed publication of the findings within 3 months. We also performed an evaluation of hand disinfection using the Semmelweis System, which was a real-world clinical study of public behaviours conducted through multiple hospital and university settings. In addition to the study design and methods, our team obtained IRB approval, conducted the study, and authored a peer-reviewed paper which was published within four months of completing the study.
Our Advisory Board
We have assembled an Advisory Board that is second to none in all facets of global health. Without fail, these individuals have come to the table when called upon for their unique perspectives and expertise; their contributions have made our science stronger and our outcomes better.
In 2017, TIPS was pleased to add the following members to our Advisory Board:
Dr. Syed Sattar, PhD, is internationally recognized as one of the leading subject matter experts in infection prevention and control, and an advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). He is professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Ottawa, adjunct professor at Carleton University, and Chief Scientific Officer of Crem Co, Inc.
Dr. Christine Greene, MPH, PhD, is the Principal Research Investigator for Contamination Control at NSF International. Her ground-breaking research is focused on healthcare pathogen transmission, pathogen environmental survival, disinfection, hand hygiene and biofilms.
John LaRochelle is Head of Innovation for Sodexo North America. John has over 30 years of experience in environmental infection prevention, facilities management and safety.
Our Innovation Partners
When the goal is to get innovations vetted and available sooner, you need reliable, world-class partners that are ready and willing to help.
In our second year, we expanded our innovation partners to include NSF International, University of Arizona Environment Exposure Science & Risk Assessment Center, Crem Co Laboratories, Peggy Lillis Foundation and HITS Consortium. Through these world class organizations, InfectionControl.tips has been able to expedite our Sudden Science program to achieve results faster than anyone else.
TIPS is passionate and committed to changing the dynamics of innovation vetting and acceptance. We are bringing forward new ideas, innovations and methods in a fraction of the time it normally takes, which means that the life-savers and game-changers are available sooner.
One of our main methods of outreach to the innovators and adaptors is through trade shows and conferences. In 2017, we participated in twelve different showcases. We are proud of our contributions to the shows we participated in. Whether we were tending a booth, running information sessions, providing social media marketing support, speaking, or helping in the organization of the event (and sometimes it was ‘all of the above’!) the mission of TIPS was promoted aggressively, leading to new supporters, advisors and contributors. At the HITS 2017 Conference in Ann Arbor, MI, TIPS was instrumental in marketing and promotion, bringing in a number of key industry supporters and participants. At the CAEM 2017 conference, TIPS introduced our 2017 Top Innovations of the Year, which included new-to-market, practical and inventive innovations, mostly unseen elsewhere.
Our partners know that we have our pulse on the latest, most effective solutions, all backed by evidence-based science. In 2018, make sure to watch for our presence at conferences. If we are there, you can be assured that the conference will be well attended, have truly new innovations and be of real value for you to attend.
People often ask: Why are you doing this? How do you make money? The answer to the first question is easy: we do it because it matters and we firmly believe in making a difference. From day one, our mission has been to break down the barriers to bringing forward new innovations and ideas in global health. We understand that antibiotic resistance is a real and present global threat, that healthcare associated infections are preventable and that everyone should have access to clean water and safe foods. All of us at TIPS volunteer our time to seek out the game changers and the outliers.
The financial model remains a work in progress. We are incredibly grateful to the sponsors who have come forward to offer financial support to help us pay for operating expenses, including travel, conference fees, scientific services, website development and hosting, and phone charges. We have described our model as ‘pay-it-forward,’ where we lean on for-profit companies who have benefited from our services to help fund our future efforts. With two years under our belts, we know our operating model is good and necessary, but we also know that its future depends on developing a sustainable structure that is not purely volunteer based. We’ll get there someday; perhaps we need just a few more heartbeats.
One of our biggest challenges remains the reluctance of some organizations, companies and indiviuals to embrace new ideas and engage with newcomers to the global health market, as I wrote about in the article, “Highly Qualified Toxic Culture Syndrome.” There are still significant barriers when trying to get the attention of the decision-makers in healthcare. We are making some progress with the help of our partners and supports, so that we can break down these silos and advance the best and most promising innovations, not just those backed by big companies.
What has really surprised us is that we face the same attitudes and roadblocks with our fellow non-profit organizations that purport to share our mission of advancing global health. Our offer of collaboration, promotional support or just basic information-sharing is usually embraced enthusiastically, but is sometimes met with suspicion and skepticism. We have lost Advisory Board nominees due to pressure from other groups insisting a conflict of interest exists when participating in two altruistic ventures. We have been blocked from seeing the social media pages of a major organization because they see us as ‘competition’. We need to do a better job of explaining that what we do is support and promote organizations that have a complementary mandate, and we do not seek to take them over or make them seem irrelevant. We hope to communicate to the gatekeepers of these organizations that we are not a threat. Rather, we are a resource and a mechanism for them to help and promote their organizations as well as their mission to protect public health.
The Year Ahead
In 2018, we have several exciting initiatives planned. The most exciting initiative we are launching in 2018 will be a series of Requests for Proposals, where we will transparently and independently provide significant scientific financial support to aid in the advancement of new innovations and ideas. In conjunction with our innovation partners, we will work with the innovations to get them closer to market, and closer to making a difference.
Our main conference initiative is the HITS Consortium conference in September. We will continue to work with our partners to seek out the game-changers in healthcare. The focus of HITS is on the major pathogen transmission systems in the healthcare setting, specifically: surfaces, person to person, water, and air. Our team at TIPS will help drive the workgroups during the year and will communicate the successes.
TIPS is also the platinum sponsor of The Harvard 2018 Healthcare Symposium, we will be featured at the 2018 Cleaning Innovations EXPO and we are the strategic partner of NSF:NSF Legionella 2018 in Baltimore. We look forward to working with our partners in advancing evidence-based science and making a difference in global health.
One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.
– John F. Kennedy
As exciting as the past two years have been, we are looking to the year ahead with renewed energy and optimism that this little idea that we have nurtured and grown will continue to catch on and prosper. Our core team is strong. Our advisors and partners are world-class. Our goals are clear. We hope you will join us in reaching those goals. Work with us. Make a difference.