Galway Clinic vision of Infection Prevention and Control is to ensure no one is harmed by a possible infection. The infection prevention and control program, policies and procedures are ongoing education which informs staff enabling them to implement and to promote evidence based on up to date best practice in infection prevention and control. Standard precautions are applied for all patients at all times regardless of whether they have an infection or not and additional precautions are implemented when a patient is infectious or suspected to be infectious.
Infection prevention is the role of every employee.
Surveillance and audits are important elements of Infection Prevention and Control which informs staff on standards achieved and needs for improvement. The hospital participated in National Surveillance Data Collection for infections and audits allowing for comparison on results and appropriate follow up. The Infection Prevention and Control Committee continuously update and approve policies based on National and International Guidelines. They review surveillance and audit results and make recommendations for improvements and new imitative initiatives to reduce incidents of infection. The hospital maintains ongoing high standards in infection prevention in line with the Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards. Infection prevention in Galway Clinic include e.g.
- Screening for infection prior to admission with completion of a questionnaire, this includes question about previous infection risks including MRSA, diarrhoea/vomiting and travel.
- On admission all patients are screened for MRSA and other infectious organisms as per National Guidelines.
- The above allows for efficient and effective isolation and implementation of appropriate infection prevention precautions for infectious and at risk patients.
- Because of an abundance of research informing us that hand hygiene is the most important element in infection prevention great emphasis is placed on hand hygiene to ensure all staff comply with the WHO ‘Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’:
- Before patient contact
- After patient contact
- Before clean aseptic procedure
- After contact with blood or body fluids
- After contact with the patients environment
The hand hygiene policy requires staff to bare below the elbow with the exception of a plain wedding band. Rings with stones and watches harbour bacterial hence are not allowed in clinical areas.
An automated daily report from the IT system highlights which patients require isolation with additional infection control precautions.
Equipment and environmental hygiene and decontamination are an essential element in infection prevention.
Infection rates in Galway Clinic remain low when compared with International benchmarks.