‘Spread Knowledge, Not Infection’ is the theme of this year’s National Infection Control Week, October 15 to 19, coordinated by the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association (CHICA) of Canada.
To mark the week in hospital, Bluewater Health is focusing on the importance of preventing the transmission of infection through action such as hand hygiene, influenza vaccination, and personal protective equipment.
Dr. Mark Taylor, Interim Chief of Professional Staff; and Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief of Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management at Bluewater Health, says, “Infection prevention and control programs have been widely recognized to be both clinically effective and cost-effective in preventing and controlling the spread of infections in healthcare settings. Ultimately, the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of infection are hand hygiene and effective environmental cleaning. As the theme of National Infection Control Week suggests, everyone can help prevent the spread of infections by being informed, and sharing that knowledge.”
As part of Bluewater Health’s ongoing commitment to enhance the quality and safety of care, the organization’s 2012/2013 Quality Improvement Plan includes improvement targets in hand hygiene and the incidence of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections.
“To date, the results have been positive,” says Taylor. “We continue to see increasing compliance of hand hygiene among staff and Professional Staff, and efforts continue to identify opportunities for further improvement. In addition, our recent focus to reduce C. difficile infections has resulted in a lower number of hospital acquired cases.”
The organization also actively participates in Ontario Hospital Association and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care programs focused on promoting infection prevention and control compliance and awareness among healthcare providers.
“Effective infection control practices, such as hand hygiene, in hospitals play an important role in improving patient and provider safety, and in preventing the spread of infections,” added Taylor. “With the cold and flu season at hand, visitors to the hospital are also reminded to clean their hands before and after visiting, using the alcohol hand foam that is available throughout the hospital. Individuals are asked not to visit family or friends in the hospital if they have a cold or symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.”
CHICA-Canada is a national, multi-disciplinary, voluntary association of Infection Prevention and Control Professionals, with 22 chapters across the country dedicated to the health of Canadians by promoting excellence in the practice of infection prevention and control