The internet as a source of information for Latin American professionals in infection control and instrument processing
Professionals in infection control and instrument processing in Latin America find it difficult to access current information in their specialties in order to maintain currency with the latest practice guidelines and technological advances. Without current data, it is difficult to validate the need to update policies, procedures, and practices to improve patient care.
Most of the technological advances and research done in infection control and instrument processing is presented at conferences and published in texts and journals outside of Latin America. Although this print media is available to professionals in Latin America, practitioners find that subscriptions are slow to arrive, and travel to conferences is infrequent due to limited financial resources. The information required by these professionals is also available on the Internet.
In this study, the majority of Latin American professionals in infection control and instrument processing polled indicated that they had access to the Internet, and that references presented in English serve as valuable resources for professional information.
Through the Internet, therefore, these professionals can access current information that is essential to appropriate decision-making and the improvement of practice guidelines.
Experts, or connoisseurs, in infection control and instrument processing from several of the more developed countries identified and qualified Internet websites that provide information in the field of infection control and instrument processing. This study provides a compendium of websites that have been evaluated by these connoisseurs. The websites are ranked, annotated, and organized by subject matter. The compendium will serve as a guide to the information that infection control and instrument processing professionals in Latin America need in order to evaluate and improve practice guidelines and patient care.