Infection Prevention

Greetings From the Infection Prevention Department

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 in Infection Prevention | 0 comments

The past few weeks have been occupied not just with our surveillance, education and influenza vaccinations, but with preparing and reporting our data to the National Healthcare Safety Network. NHSN is now nationwide with over 11,000 hospital members. We had followed NISS benchmarks for years. Now all infections are reported to NHSN and are reported out as SIRs–no longer as a rate.

WHAT IS SIR?  DEFINED AS A STANDARDIZED INFECTION RATIO! And what is that? Read More

Infection Prevention News

Posted on Oct 1, 2012 in Infection Prevention | 0 comments

This month’s news will consist of “bullet” reminders: infection prevention issues that are ongoing!

  • Influenza vaccination fairs started in September and will go into October. Please take advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated here at ABSMC. For patient safety, those who are not vaccinated against the flu will need to wear a mask during the flu season. Read More

Protecting Our Patients From C Diff

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 in Infection Prevention | Comments Off on Protecting Our Patients From C Diff

Clostridium difficile has hit some areas of the nation in epidemic proportions. ABSMC continues to identify patients with community and hospital-acquired disease. The new Contact Precautions for C. diff must be instituted at first suspicion. This means gowns and gloves must be worn by all entering the room. The patient’s environment is likely contaminated as well.  Hands must be washed with soap and water when leaving the room. All surfaces in the patient room are cleaned daily with bleach wipes. Compliance with Precautions by health care personnel is vital in preventing the spread of C. diff.

Although rarely seen at ABSMC, health care facilities are also dealing with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), deadly pathogens that cause heath care-associated infections.  CRE are resistant to almost all drugs and can contribute to death in 40 percent of patients who become infected. CRE were first reported in the U.S. in 2001 and seem to be regional, although there is the definite potential for spread. In our area, CRE is mostly seen as Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC). CRE often carry genes that confer high levels of resistance to many other antimicrobials.

CDC Recommendations:

  • Identify colonized and infected patients when present in the facility
  • Hand hygiene is a primary part of preventing multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission.
  • Place colonized and infected patients in Contact Precautions (gowns, gloves, hand hygiene)
  • Educate MD and staff regarding proper use of Contact Precautions (presently at ABSMC, Contact Precautions are used for all MDROs)
  • Minimizing device use (central line, urinary catheters, ET tubes) is an important part to decrease the incidence of CRE and other MDROs.
  • Antibiotic stewardship is another key element in CRE and MDRO control, especially in critical care and long-term care.
  • Chlorhexidine bathing has been successful in preventing HAIs and decreasing the colonization of certain MDROs.

The medical center and physicians will need to be prepared for this next challenge to protect our hospitalized patients from antimicrobial resistant organisms.

Hand Hygiene Goals

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 in Infection Prevention | Comments Off on Hand Hygiene Goals

At ABSMC, a new Hand Hygiene Initiative has started with the goal to revitalize and create awareness of the important need for appropriate cleansing of hands before and after patient contact.

Hands need to be cleaned:

  • going in
  • coming out
  • with patient/equipment contact

This initiative will utilize volunteers for observations with a new tool that will identify where each group of health care personnel (nurse, tech, EVS, R.T., M.D., etc.) is doing hand hygiene appropriately or where there are opportunities for improvement.

We want to take this opportunity to partner with the physicians as part of the team advocating hand hygiene and infection prevention.