Infection Prevention and Control

Controlling and preventing infections at Central Health

As health care providers, we are committed to providing quality care and services, and to keeping our patients, clients and residents safe.

Infection prevention and control is a shared responsibility for all Central Health staff, physicians, patients, residents, clients and visitors. The Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team is available to provide support and consultation across the continuum of care.

The main purpose of the IPAC program is the prevention and control of infections. We do this for the well-being of those we serve - including our patients, residents, clients, visitors and health care workers - in a manner that demonstrates our commitment to caring, respect, effective use of resources and continuous, quality improvement.

 

Our Goals


The main goals of the Infection Prevention and Control program are:

  • To promote infection prevention and control practices across the continuum of care

  • To strive to protect patients, residents, clients and staff from healthcare-associated infections

  • To provide education to employees to assist with preventing the spread of infections within Central Health

How to Protect Yourself

Keep your distance

  • If you are experiencing symptoms such as a new or worsening cough, fever, diarrhea and/or vomiting, please don’t visit a patient or resident in a hospital or long-term care home.

  • If you’re a patient experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, tell a member of your health care team immediately.

  • To reduce the chance of infection, avoid direct interaction with other patients.

 

Clean Your Hands

Central Health has alcohol-based hand rub dispensers (ABHRs) throughout its facilities, and we encourage you to use them frequently. Also, we encourage you to wash your hands regularly, especially:

  • Before entering and immediately after leaving your room;

  • Before you eat or drink;

  • After using the toilet or bedpan;

  • After touching hospital equipment;

  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing;

  • Before and after any direct contact with a patient; and

  • Upon entrance to and exit from the health care facility.

 

Remember: it’s okay to ask visitors and members of your health care team to wash their hands before and after they see you.

 

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Additional precautions are sometimes needed to help in the prevention and the spread of infection to other patients, visitors and staff.

 

If you see a sign on your loved one’s room door indicating this, you may be required to wear the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), i.e. gloves, gowns, mask and/or eye protection, etc. during your visit. Check with the nursing staff before entering the room.


Learn more

  • To learn more about prevention, check out our Education Resources for patients, families and health professionals alike.

 

How to Prevent an Infection while in Hospital

 

Before you are admitted:

  • Ask your doctor about any vaccines you may need to prevent respiratory illness including influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines.

  • Follow any recommendations from your healthcare providers regarding weight, diabetes management, or smoking before hospitalization. This may help to prevent an infection following surgery.

 

Once you've been admitted:

  • Hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. All staff should clean hands before providing care. Feel free to ask a staff member if they have cleaned their hands prior to caring for you;

  • Cover your cough with a fresh tissue and try to keep your hands away from your face as germs can enter through the nose, eyes and mouth;

  • Let your care provider know if you require a clean gown or linens or other personal hygiene supplies;

  • Try to keep the area surrounding your bed clutter-free. This enables housekeeping staff to properly clean your room;

  • Some patients are placed on “additional precautions” while in hospital. This would mean that anyone visiting maybe required to wear gloves, gown, or masks;

  • Inform your care provider if any of your dressings are loose, if your incision is red or tender or has increased drainage; and

  • Following your healthcare providers’ instructions regarding any special exercises or breathing exercises or directions for getting out of bed-this can help prevent a lung infection. (Pneumonia).

 

Once you go home:

  • Watch for any signs or symptoms that may indicate an infection such as increased or unexpected pain, chills or fever, increased drainage, pus or swelling of a surgical wound;

  • Complete the full course of any antibiotics that may have been provided by your doctor;

  • Follow all discharge instructions that were provided to you by your healthcare providers; and

  • Be sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your healthcare team.


Learn more

  • To learn more about prevention, check out our Education Resources for patients, families and health professionals alike.

 

Education Resources

 

Infection control practitioners provide education to employees, volunteers, physicians, patients and their families regarding infection prevention and control topics.

The Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) program strives to increase awareness throughout Central Health of infection control issues and to improve technique and practices through employee education and activities.

We invite you to check out the resources below.

Hand Hygiene

 

What is hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene refers to washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.

Quick Facts

  • Did you know that using good hand hygiene is the easiest and most effective way to prevent healthcare associated infections and the transmission of organisms and disease?

  • Germs live on your hands or on objects. You can spread germs and infections when you have not washed your hands.

  • Washing hands helps to physically remove the germs by friction, and then rinse them down the drain.

  • Alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHRs) kill 99.99 per cent of most common germs that may cause illness.

 

When should you wash your hands?

  • When hands are visibly dirty;

  • Before you eat;

  • Before you prepare food items;

  • After touching raw meats like chicken or beef;

  • After contact with any body fluids like blood, urine or vomit;

  • After changing infant or adult diapers;

  • After touching animals and pets;

  • After using the washroom;

  • After blowing your nose; and

  • After coughing/sneezing into your hands.

 

Education and Training

There are many posters and pamphlets available as visual reminders of the importance of hand hygiene. We also offer continuous education to staff through general orientation and continuing education.

 

What about Alcohol-Based Hand Rub (ABHR)?

Alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer is a hand disinfectant that can be used for routine cleaning of hands when they are not visibly soiled.

Hand hygiene is especially important in a health care setting:

  • Before and after initial contact with a patient/client or their environment;

  • Before performing aseptic procedures, for example, inserting an I.V. or changing a dressing;

  • After exposure risk to bodily fluids;

  • When entering and leaving a room;

  • Before touching surfaces or providing care;

  • When providing care to more than one patient/client; and

  • After removing gloves.

 

Process/Improvement

The Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPAC) has a Hand Hygiene initiative that aims to create a culture where Hand Hygiene compliance becomes a priority.

The team continually educates and assesses availability and placement of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) product to make sure it is readily available for staff, patients, families, residents and visitors in all Central Health facilities.

 

 

Compliance Rates:

 

Coming Soon

 

Healthcare or Hospital Acquired Infections:

A Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) is an infection that develops during the course of a hospital stay. People who are in hospital are at greater risk of developing infections for a variety of reasons.

These include:

  • a weakened immune system;

  • increased use of antibiotics;

  • surgical and medical procedures that cause breaks in the skin; and

  • transmission of bacteria from one person to another due to close contact with other patients and healthcare workers.

 

The Infection Prevention and Control program monitors for infections throughout the organization as a part of ongoing initiatives to improve patient safety.

Several patient safety indicators that are tracked and reported on a quarterly basis by Central Health include: