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This article is part of the supplement: International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011)

Open Access Oral presentation

Adoption of an infection prevention and control programme (IPCP) in the Republic of Kiribati: a case study in diffusion of innovations theory

P-A Zimmerman1*, H Yeatman1, M Jones2 and H Murdoch3

  • * Corresponding author: P-A Zimmerman

Author affiliations

1 Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

2 Faculty of Commerce, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

3 Infection Control/Nursing Services, Ministry of Health, Tarawa, Kiribati

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Citation and License

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):O20  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-O20

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:29 June 2011

© 2011 Zimmerman et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Introduction / objectives

This paper presents a study which holistically examined the innovation processes experienced by the Republic of Kiribati in their adoption of a comprehensive IPCP innovation package.


A case study methodology was used to explore IPCP adoption. Data sources and analysis included: 1) Chronological and thematic analysis of IPCP documentation and assessments performed by local staff and external agencies/consultants, and 2) semi-structured interviews with local key informants and external agencies (using snow-ball sampling) with thematic analysis. Analysis was informed by the Diffusion of Innovations for Organisations framework.


Identification of the two key activities of the innovation process for organisations, initiation and implementation (of the IPCP) was achieved. The initiation activity included two stages: 1) agenda-setting: preparations for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 stimulated the identification of organisational IPCP deficits, and 2) matching: IPCP deficits were identified and the decision to adopt an IPCP innovation package was made. Implementation included three stages: a) redefining/restructuring: identification of the components of an IPCP and how they best fit with the local health structure, b) clarifying: integration of IPCP into the health services and defining an infection control role within the nursing division and, c) routinising: the IPCP became an ongoing element in health service delivery.


The adoption of the IPCP followed the classic Diffusion of Innovations Process for Organisations. This process can serve as an IPCP adoption model in other low- and middle-income healthcare settings.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.