<img src="https://secure.insightful-cloud-365.com/264240.png" style="display:none;">

Real World Examples of Using Infection Control to Target Sources of Infection

While the study of how infections spread is a complex web that most people will never need to delve into, the real-world basics of infection control are not particularly difficult to understand. To stop the spread of infections, the most basic tasks like washing hands and disinfecting surfaces are the most effective.

In this post, we will share some of the details of real healthcare facilities that have implemented basic but critical infection control measures to target the sources of infection that were leading to hospital-acquired infections and reduced patient outcomes.

Automated Disinfection as a Supplemental Cleaning Aid

As a “a national leader in quality, service and cost,” Cone Health knows the importance of minimizing HAIs, which can threaten quality of care as well as costs. In the interest of reducing infection in their facilities, Cone Health undertook an infection control initiative from 2007 to 2010 designed to reduce specifically MRSA infections.

Although there were many pieces of the initiative, one of the most interesting for our purposes is the implementation of automated room cleaning devices to standard cleaning procedures. Because high touch surfaces can be extremely effective sources of infection, ensuring that these surfaces are clean is critical. An automated cleaning device that uses UV light as a disinfectant also minimizes the how often surfaces are touched by cleaning staff and can therefore be quite effective. Overall, the initiative saw a 42% decline in HAIs and a savings of more than $2 million.

Patient Improvement Can Mean the Spread of Infection

When we hear the word “hospital” or “healthcare facility” most of us go immediately to images of emergency rooms, ICUs or even maternity wards. However, mental health treatment facilities also have to pay close attention to infection control and face different challenges from other types of facilities.

At the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, administrators were concerned about the spread of infection particularly because their patients were encouraged to move around the facility and interact with other patients as part of their recovery. To address this particular source of infection, the facility implemented better patient tracking so that symptoms could be noted and addressed more efficiently. Not all infection control solutions require new technology or tools, in this case it was a matter of a new system and simply paying closer attention to the problem. The result was a significant decrease in the spread of infection within the facility.

More Frequent Cleaning Stems the Spread of C. Diff

According to the CDC, Clostridium difficile or C Diff, is one of the most common HAIs. In 2009, the Jewish Hospital Mercy Health in Cincinnati was experiencing C diff infections of 25.27 per 10,000 patients, largely due to a patient population of advanced age. In implementing a more robust infection control protocol, the hospital identified patient bathrooms as a key source of infection for C Diff. In order to minimize the spread of this infection, the facility undertook a number of steps, but one of the most important was implementing twice daily cleanings for patient bathrooms. As the key source of this type of infection, cleaning once a day was simply not enough. At the end of their thorough implementation of new and improved infection control protocols, the incidence of C diff at this facility dropped to just 3.08 instances per 10,000 patients.

The most important thing to remember about infection control (besides washing your hands) is that infection control measures should be constantly evaluated and updated. Each of the facilities above had a process in place, but they knew it could work better and protect more patients, so they made the changes they needed to make.

Download our pricing guide