Infection Prevention and Control
Infection Prevention and Control is very important at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH). The mission of the Infection Prevention and Control Program is to promote a healthy and safe environment by preventing transmission of infectious agents among patients, physicians, employees, volunteers and visitors associated with the Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital. HGMH Infection Prevention and Control services are lead by a certified Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner. The program co-ordinates all activities related to prevention and control of infections. Some of the methods by which this is accomplished include the following:
- Continual assessment and modification of our services based on regulations and standards of best practice;
- Integration of Infection Control and Prevention practices throughout the hospital;
- Providing consultation and guidance on relevant policy and issues;
- Education and training of the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee "Best Practices" for physicians, employees, volunteers and visitors;
- Surveillance of infection control practices and nosocomial infections.
We believe it is the responsibility of each and every individual at the hospital to practice good infection prevention and control, the basis of which continues to be good aseptic technique and HANDWASHING!
"In Health Care Settings, hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent infections!"
You Are Part of the Healthcare Team
What You Can Do
- Since you are part of your healthcare team, do not be afraid to remind doctors or nurses to clean their hands. This includes washing their hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub before working with you. This goes for family and visitors, too.
- Wash your own hands often and well.
- Practice good hygiene
- When you sneeze or cough, germs can travel 3 feet or more! Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough into your sleeve. Remember to wash your hands afterwards. This will help to prevent the spread of infection to others.
- Do not bring too many belongings into hospital. If your bed area becomes too cluttered, it is difficult for the housekeeping staff to clean.
- Ask your doctor about your special vaccinations needs.
- Some patients are on "isolation precautions". This is usually done to protect the patient and others from infectious diseases. If you are in "isolation," understand what your isolation means and what you should expect from the hospital staff or visitors. Gloves, gowns and masks are sometimes appropriate, depending on the illness.
- If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell your nurse promptly if the dressing is loose or wet.
- Likewise, if you have a dressing on a wound, let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or wet.
- If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.
- Since intravenous catheters and drainage tubes are all entry points for infection, discuss with your doctor when these devices can be safely removed.
- Pay attention to symptoms that may indicate an infection: unexpected pain, chills, fever, drainage, or increased inflammation of a surgical wound. Contact your doctor immediately if any of these occur, especially after you have been discharged from a hospital.
What can visitors/family members do?
We ask that you do not visit if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Fever within the last 24hrs
- Have an upper respiratory tract infection (sore throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose)
- Conjunctivitis (eye infection or pink eye)
- Chicken pox, shingles, measles or mumps
- Infectious rashes or concerns of possible transmission of a communicable disease
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms please see your doctor and/or delay your visit until the symptoms have gone.
- Wash your hands on the entrance to and exit from the hospital.
- Wash your hands before and after any patient contact.
- Do not sit on the patient's bed.
- Do not go into unit kitchens (these are for staff only).
- When you sneeze or cough, germs can travel 3 feet or more! Cover your mouth to prevent the spread of infection to others.
- Do not use the patient toilets - visitor's toilets are available.
What if you are visiting someone on isolation precautions?
- Check with the nursing station before visiting. The nurse can discuss the required personal protective equipment (i.e., gowns, masks, gloves) that must be worn prior to entry into the patient's room. The nurse can show you how to safely and properly put on and remove the equipment.
- If you are visiting others in the hospital be sure to visit the patient on additional precautions LAST!
- Wash your hands after removal of any protective equipment (this includes gloves, gowns and/or masks)
- Do NOT exit the room wearing ANY protective equipment
- Make sure to wash your hands or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer upon exiting the room.
We have many patient/visitor information brochures available. They include:
- Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
- Clostridium difficile (C. diff.)
- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
- Community Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA)
- Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
- Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Do We Have An Outbreak?
The information brochures presented above provide basic general information only and are to be used for practical information required by patients and their families to care for their needs at home and in the hospital without putting other family members at risk of acquiring infection. If you have any further questions, ask your own physician, local health unit or health care worker.
Links to Other Websites
- Antibiotic Awareness
- Scrub Club for Kids
- CHICA-Canada's Hand Hygiene Page
- Infection Prevention and Control Core Competencies: Hand Hygiene
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
- Infectious Disease - A to Z information
- Public Health Ontario
- World Health Organization
- Just Clean Your Hands
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention