Your Role in Infection Control
Visit only if you feel well
If you have a cough, sore throat, fever, vomiting or diarrhea or are just not feeling, it is best that you not come to the hospital to visit. There is a risk that you could make those around you sick. Instead of coming to the hospital, you can call on the telephone. A telephone is available in each client room.
Stay Up-to-Date with Vaccines
Disease prevention is key to staying healthy. It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. Vaccines can protect both the people who receive them and those with whom they come in contact. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of infectious diseases and saved millions of lives.
Clean your hands
Cleaning your hands regularly is the best way to prevent the spread of germs that cause infection. Unless your hands look dirty, you can clean them easily and effectively using the hand sanitizer provided in the halls, in patient rooms, and several other spots throughout the hospital.
We Care…Our Role in Infection Control
All hospital staff treating patients are to clean their hands before and after contact with every patient. It’s okay to ask your healthcare provider to wash their hands before they treat you.
Hand hygiene audit observations are conducted monthly on the four essential moments of hand hygiene.
Hand Hygiene results are shared with front line staff and leadership. Auditing hand hygiene provides a benchmark for improvement and helps the infection control staff identify the most appropriate education, training and promotion required.
Hand Hygiene Compliance
The single most common way of transferring the microorganisms that cause healthcare-associated infections is on the hands of healthcare workers. Hand hygiene is considered the most important way to reduce healthcare-associated infections. Hand hygiene has been advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a critical component of patient safety aimed at supporting the reduction of healthcare-associated infections and their consequences. By performing hand hygiene, healthcare workers can help prevent and decrease the burden of these infections.
Many healthcare regions across Canada audit and report on hand hygiene adherence. Public reporting of hand hygiene adherence rates is one of many interventions that may help shape and change the behavior of healthcare workers. Public reporting encourages transparency and accountability and use of that data helps to drive quality improvement in our healthcare system.
Labrador-Grenfell Health implemented a hand hygiene strategy in 2009 which consisted of staff education, auditing and various other hand hygiene strategies.
As of January 1st, 2017 Newfoundland and Labrador began collecting hand hygiene adherence rates on predetermined acute care inpatient units across the four Regional Health Authorities. The goal is to improve and sustain the hand hygiene practices of healthcare workers by providing a consistent provincial approach to a hand hygiene program.
Measuring all aspects of our performance is an important part of continuing to deliver safe and excellent hospital care. We look at a number of indicators as part of our on-going quality improvement efforts.
Help Prevent Antibiotic Resistant Organisms (AROs)
Antibiotic resistance happens whem bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. They no longer respond to that antibiotic. When this happens, antibiotics that previously would have killed the bacteria, no longer work.
You can prevent antibiotic resistance by:
- Understanding that most people don’t need antibiotics for colds and flu because they are caused by viruses
- Taking the right dose of your antibiotic at the right time, as prescribed by your doctor
- Taking your antibiotics for as long as your doctor tells you to
- Do not use antibacterial soap or other antibacterial cleaners at home
- Do not save antibiotics for the next illness. Discard any leftover medication once the prescribed course of treatment is completed.
- Do not ask for antibiotics when your doctor thinks you do not need them. Remember antibiotics have side effects. Using antibiotics when they are not helpful or needed makes the “superbug” problem worse
- Prevent infections by practicing good hand hygiene and getting recommended vaccines.
If you are admitted to our hospital, the nurse will ask you a few questions about recent hospital stays and whether you have tested positive for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Vancomycin Resistant enterococcus (VRE).
There are times when our staff takes extra precautions when a patient has tested positive. Staff will wear a gown and gloves when providing direct patient care to prevent the spread of bacteria. You and your family may be asked to do the same.