A novel approach to engaging the frontline: Embedding marketing expertise.

Mrs Aby Foster1, Mrs Lynley Pilon1, Dr Deborough Macbeth1, Dr Peta-Anne  Zimmerman1,2,3

1Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Southport, Australia,
2Graduate Infection Prevention and Control Program | School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Southport, Australia,
3Menzies Institute, , Australia


The successful adoption and implementation of infection prevention and control principles in all healthcare settings is dependent on the degree to which healthcare workers (HCWs) are aware of the requirements and engage with the program.  To date this has largely relied upon education, supported by infection control (IC) policies and procedures delivered and disseminated by Infection Control Professionals (ICPs). ICPs are subject matter experts, but often lack marketing and engagement skills.

A novel marketing approach was trialled to gauge its effect on clinician knowledge and engagement with the IC program.


In 2018, a marketing specialist was embedded within the IC department. The influenza vaccination campaign was used as a test case. Baseline measures of digital engagement were collected regarding existing marketing strategies and their impact. A multi-modal marketing and communication strategy was then developed and implemented.


Website analytics demonstrated the “Staff Influenza Website” views increased by 159% in 2018/19 compared to 2016/17. Influenza related posts on the Health Service’s Facebook page performed better than 90% of other posts. Multi-modal marketing strategies delivered high impact responses with one feature article having over 4,000 readers. A tangible outcome of these strategies is a 16% increase (preliminary data) in uptake of the staff influenza vaccination compared to 2016/17.


Engagement with the 2018/19 influenza vaccination campaign demonstrates a marketing specialist can improve information quality, quantity, and timeliness, utilising multi-modal strategies to communicate IC imperatives and initiatives to HCWs. Further it has demonstrated a previously unmet HCW need for IC information.


Aby is an Infection Control professional with over 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors.  She is currently employed as a Clinical Nurse Consultant overseeing the day to day coordination of the Infection Control program at the Gold Coast University Hospital Campus, and the Hand Hygiene program for the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.

Aby is passionate about mentoring and developing staff within the service.  Aby is credentialed by ACIPC at an Advanced level and has experience in project management at both a local and state level.  This experience includes the development and pilot of a Signal Infection Surveillance strategy for small and remote facilities within Queensland, contribution to the development of the Queensland Pandemic Plan, and South East Queensland preparation for and participation in Operation Cumpston 06.

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