Infection Prevention and Control

Infection prevention and control assists and supports improved patient safety. In order to protect patients and health-care workers and reduce the costs of health care associated infections, it is important to prevent infections before they occur.

Not all health care associated infections can be prevented; however, research studies have shown that at least 20% can be prevented through the implementation of effective prevention and control strategies.

The goals of an infection prevention and control program are:

  • To protect patients/health care workers and visitors from health care associated infections.
  • To prevent the spread of infections from patient to patient, from patients to health-care workers, from health-care workers to patients, from health care workers to health-care workers and to visitors and others in the health care environment.

Infection Control expertise

The Infection Prevention and Control staff is responsible for investigating, tracking, monitoring and managing infection control issues. They also provide:

  • advice
  • expertise
  • education
  • support

to help health care workers maintain a proper standard of care.

The team has an established system to identify and limit risks of infection. The program uses best practice guidelines and promotes compliance through an active surveillance system, infection prevention and control policies, programs, epidemiological studies and research.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is considered the most important and effective infection prevention and control measure to prevent the spread of health care associated infections. It should be practiced by patients, health-care workers and visitors.

There are 4 moments when it is essential that health-care workers clean their hands including:

  1. before patient/patient environment contact
  2. before an aseptic procedure
  3. after body fluid exposure risk
  4. after patient/patient environment contact

Alcohol based hand rub is the preferred method for cleaning hands. Hand washing with soap and running water must be performed when hands are visibly soiled.

Do not visit

Visitors can also contribute to the well-being of patient health. Visitors with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, or respiratory illness (influenza) should refrain from visiting until all symptoms disappear.

If you are admitted to a hospital

There are actions that you can take to protect yourself:

  • Clean your hands often.
  • Be aware that germs can be carried from person to person by caregivers.
  • Ask those providing your care to clean their hands.
  • Ask your visitors to clean their hands using the alcohol based hand rub when they arrive at the hospital and again when they leave.
  • Ask family and friends not to visit you if they have colds, flu, sore throat, diarrhea, or any infectious illnesses.

Regional Infectious Diseases Medical Director

Infection Prevention and Control Director, The Moncton Hospital, Horizon Health Network / Regional Infectious Diseases Medical Director, Horizon Health Network

Gordon Dow is an Infectious Disease consultant in full-time clinical practice at…