Building a Virtual Global Knowledge Network During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: The Infection Prevention and Control Global Webinar Series

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been an unprecedented global health challenge. Traditional modes of knowledge dissemination have not been feasible. A rapid solution was needed to share guidance and implementation examples within the global infection prevention and control (IPC) community. We designed the IPC Global Webinar Series to bring together subject matter experts and IPC professionals in the fight against COVID-19. Methods

The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model was adapted to create an interactive global knowledge network. Speakers and panelists provided presentations and answers to questions. Webinars were simultaneously interpreted into 5 languages and recorded for later access. Results

Thirteen webinar sessions were completed from 14 May through 6 August 2020. On average, 634 participants attended each session (range, 393-1181). Each session was represented by participants from, on average, more than 100 countries. Conclusions

Through the IPC Global Webinar Series, critical information was shared and peer-to-peer learning was promoted during the COVID-19 pandemic response. The webinar sessions reached a broader audience than many in-person events. The webinar series was rapidly scaled and can be rapidly reactivated as needed. Our lessons learned in designing and implementing the series can inform the design of other global health virtual knowledge networks. The continued and expanded use of adapted virtual communities of practice and other learning networks for the IPC community can serve as a valuable tool for addressing COVID-19 and other infectious disease threats.

The infection prevention and control (IPC) Global Webinar Series convened subject matter experts and IPC professionals from more than 100 countries to establish a global learning community for COVID-19. We advocate for expanded use of virtual knowledge networks.