What is NHH doing to control the spread of nosocomial infections?
Infections pose an ongoing challenge for all hospitals, both within Ontario and around the world. At any time of the year, NHH may have patients in isolation with any one of a series of infectious conditions such as Clostridium Difficile. The most important concern is ensuring that processes are in place to ensure that these cases are identified and managed in such a way that the risk of further infection is minimized. Below is a list of some of the measures currently in place at NHH.
- NHH’s Infection Control Committee, comprised of physicians, staff and administrators, meets regularly to review the hospital’s performance, discuss emerging trends and challenges, and ensure that a response is under way that matches or improves upon recognized best practices for minimizing risk. The Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee’s (PIDAC) best practice documents are reflected in NHH’s policies and procedures.
- Education sessions for staff and physicians focused on infection prevention and the importance of good hand hygiene by everyone, including patients and visitors. Initiatives such as a comprehensive program for support service attendants are in place at NHH as is active participation in the province-wide Just Clean Your Hands program.
- Patient education protocols aimed at instructing all patients, on admission and throughout their stay, on the dos and don’ts of proper hand hygiene and the opportunities when hands should be cleaned through participation in the provincial Clean Hands Protect Lives program.
- Regular and thorough cleaning of the entire facility with hospital-approved disinfectant. Twice-daily room cleaning is conducted for patients with Clotridium difficile; alcohol-based hand rub stations are located at every patient bedside as a further measure to reduce the spread of infection.
- Antimicrobial Stewardship Program designed to limit inappropriate use and optimize antimicrobial (antibiotic) selection, dosing, route, and duration of therapy to maximize clinical care or prevention of infection while limiting the unintended consequences, such as toxicity, the selection of pathogenic organisms such as Clostridium difficile and the emergence of resistance, adverse drug events and costs. Given the emergence of multi-drug resistant pathogens and their impact on clinical care, appropriate use of antimicrobial agents has become a focus of patient safety and quality assurance. The ultimate goal of antimicrobial stewardship is to improve patient care and health care outcomes.