Infection Prevention & Control
- Help stop the spread of germs and disease
- The cooperation of Patients and Visitors is vital
Lend a Hand: Wash It!
The infection control and prevention specialists at St. Catherine have designed a coordinated infection prevention and control program to protect everyone who comes into the medical center.
St. Catherine’s Invention & Prevention Program incorporates evidence-based practices from leading authorities in infection prevention including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
In addition, the medical center complies with regulations from government agencies such as state and local health departments, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as accrediting bodies, such as the Joint Commission.
The essential elements of an infection prevention and control program to prevent healthcare-associated infections, including central-line bloodstream infections, include:
- Rigorous hand hygiene practices that ensure healthcare providers clean their hands before and after providing patient care and after having contact with the patient’s environment .
Patients as well as visitors need to practice good hand hygiene. Patients are also encouraged to be partners in their care and talk with their healthcare providers about hand hygiene.
Use of barrier precautions, such as gloves, gowns, masks, caps, etc., by healthcare workers and visitors.
Separating patients with serious infections from other patients to prevent the transmission of infection.
Proper disinfection of the patient’s skin prior to medical and surgical procedures.
Environmental cleaning and decontamination of equipment, especially items that are frequently touched or are close to patients, such as bedrails and bedside equipment.
Monitoring the cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of instruments and equipment used for patient care.
Removing IV and urinary catheters promptly.
When possible, avoiding veins in the groin for IV catheter placement.
Staff education on best practices to prevent infections including central-line bloodstream infections and spread of resistant organisms such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and C. diff (Clostridium Difficile) bacteria.
Sharing information with patients and families so they understand the importance of infection prevention practices in all healthcare settings and at home.
Additionally, in order to ensure patient safety, dedicated staff have been trained to identify any breaks in infection prevention and control practices and to intervene if such breaks are identified.