The Waikato DHB Infection Control Team:
- develops and implements the Annual Infection Control Programme
- provides advice and education, and develops evidence-based policies and procedures to guide all DHB employees on best practice infection control practices
- actively promotes, implements and monitors effective hand hygiene practices of all DHB staff
- conducts surveillance activities e.g. monitoring hospital-acquired bloodstream infections, surgical site wound infections, paediatric winter virus infections, etc
- advises, assists and monitors all Waikato DHB facilities with management of patients with multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO’s) e.g. methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extend spectrum beat lactamase (ESBL’s) and vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE)
- undertakes outbreak management, i.e. when cross-transmission (passing bugs form one patient to another patient) occurs, Infection Control manages the situation by putting infection control precautions in place which stops the spread and prevents further cross-transmission from occurring.
If you become a hospital patient you are at risk of possibly acquiring an infection during your hospital stay for one or more of the following reasons:
- surgery can increase your chances of acquiring an infection as surgery often requires a break in your body’s natural defences i.e. your skin. This can be minimized / prevented by administering antibiotics to you prior to and after surgery
- cross-transmission between patients in hospital. To minimize / prevent this, all staff are required to perform hand hygiene which is cleaning their hands by either washing with soap and water or by using the waterless hand gels before and after contact (touching) with you and your environment.
We encourage you - and you have the right - to ask any person providing you with care, whether they have performed hand hygiene prior to touching you.
When it is identified that a patient has got a multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO), they are put into infection control isolation.
Some patients will already know they have a MDRO and be admitted with it, while other patients may be identified with the MDRO during their hospital stay. This means that:
- all patients with a MDRO will be isolated appropriately in the ward or area and will be provided with appropriate bathroom facilities
- staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment e.g. apron, yellow gown, mask, face shield, eye protection and gloves when providing care to patients
- staff will remove this equipment and perform hand hygiene before leaving the room
- staff will also take particular care with cleaning and disinfecting patient shared equipment
- visitors should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the room after visiting you, and should immediately leave the hospital so that they do not carry MDROs to other patients or other parts of the hospital.
If you have any questions about infection control while you are a hospital patient please do not hesitate to ask your nurse or the clinical nurse manager of the ward.
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