The Internet provides immediate access to evidence on infection prevention, but it is often difficult and time consuming to find evidence-based resources to inform best practice. Funded by the Department of Health 2005-2012 at £1mil, the National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC: www.nric.org.uk) is an online portal that pioneered a unique digital technology for medical evidence dissemination: an easy to navigate, one-stop-shop for quality-assured infection prevention and control resources for medical staff. In 2010, the user base spanned 159 countries, was receiving over 20,000 hits per month, had positive impact on 53% visits and ranked Top 10 in Google searches for infection-related terms.
NRIC was endorsed by all major infection control stakeholders in the UK and internationally. UK Department of Health regarded NRIC as the flagship project. NRIC attracted new users and over 3,500 subscribers via the NRIC newsletter; the essential resource not only for busy infection control nurses, but also for multi-disciplinary healthcare teams, empowering them by providing access to quality assured infection prevention and control evidence to help keep patients safe from infection.
In 2012, with government and widespread healthcare organisation changes in the UK, funding stopped. This highlighted an even greater need for NRIC as many research and policy documents ceased to be readily available. Small grants funded expansion to Africa and rebrand to International Resource of Infection Control (iNRIC) in 2015. Patchy fixed-term funding keeps iNRIC ‘ticking’ but updates and promotion are impossible to maintain on a daily basis. Ongoing efforts to secure long-term funding are underway. The iNRIC situation illustrates how important it is to secure long-term continuous government/research/industry funding for strategic initiatives and how difficult it is to predict how changes in policy development can affect even globally successful projects.