Online Infection Control Training: Perceived Barriers and Enablers to Training and Practice

Part of the Healthcare Delivery in the Information Age book series (Healthcare Delivery Inform. Age)


Safety climate, specifically employees’ perceptions of management’s commitment to safety, plays a vital role in the adoption of safe work practices. Infection control training contributes to safety climate and is a visible sign of organizational commitment to safety. Time constraints, shift work, and demanding workloads limit health-care workers’ access to infection control training. Online education potentially facilitates access to educational opportunities. This research sought to ascertain health-care workers’ perceptions of an online infection control course offered through the workplace and perceptions of online education in general. Fifty health-care workers from a variety of hospital and community settings were interviewed – 25 had taken the online course, and 25 had not. Content analysis was performed using the constant comparative method. Participants who took the course outlined its utility as an infection control refresher. Online education was viewed as having potential due to its flexibility. Participants recognized the importance of infection control, but identified a lack of consistent opportunities for continuing education. Health-care worker’ engagement in education is determined in part by management support of educational opportunities. Making this online course a mandatory requirement was viewed as evidence of such support.


Infection Control Online Education Personal Protective Equipment Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Safety Climate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Analysis of these interviews was cosponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Health Systems Improvement program), the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, and the Provincial Health Services Authority (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control), and the Department of pathology, Faculty of Medicine University of British Columbia. The authors would like to acknowledge research assistants Ryan Payne, Riley Killam, Paul Weaver, and Raymond Yip for their assistance on the project. This research was approved by the University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.eHealth Strategy Office, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital and Health Sciences CentreVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Childern’s and Women’s, Heath Centre of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  5. 5.School of BusinessKwantlen Polytechnic UniversitySurreyCanada

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