For Immediate Release
October 14, 2011
HDGH Celebrates Infection Control Week
Hand Hygiene Education for Patients & Visitors Primary Focus
(Windsor, ON) – From October 17 – 21, 2011, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital will celebrate National Infection Control Week by focusing on expanding its hand hygiene education for patients, families and visitors. From Monday to Friday, our Infection Control Team made up of Annette Blanchard, (Senior Infection Control Practitioner), and her staff Anita Bertelle and Lindsay Samoila will be taking turns performing hand hygiene Glo Germ demonstrations daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Goyeau Street Lobby.
“We are clearly concentrating on hand hygiene. This is just a part of what we do for infection control, but one that is front and centre,” said Blanchard. “This initiative is geared specifically toward visitors, families and patients.”
According to Blanchard, this demonstration shows the importance of cleaning the hands by simple hand hygiene (hand washing). It uses a fluorescent marker and a UV light to prove the effectiveness of this basic measure.
“This method has been around for many years and HDGH has always used it to demonstrate proper hand hygiene technique to staff,” said Blanchard. “We are now expanding these demonstrations to include patients, families and visitors because they can be factors in the transmission of any infection both in the hospital but also when out in the real world.”
Blanchard says that while at the hospital, patients are often their own best advocate.
“They have the right to ask any staff member, ‘Have you washed your hands?’ They can also practice good hand hygiene themselves as well as ask their visitors to do so.”
In addition to our Infection Control team performing hand hygiene Glo Germ demonstrations during Infection Control Week, HDGH has also purchased a new glogerm kit for ongoing use at the Customer Care Desk in the Goyeau Street Lobby. The volunteers who work at the Customer Care Desk will begin providing this service daily for patients, visitors and families following Infection Control Week.
“For hand washing training, Glo Germ liquid or gel is rubbed on to your hands like lotion,” says Blanchard. “Then you wash your hands as you would normally. Your hands appear clean, however, the ultra violet light tells a different story. If you haven’t washed your hands thoroughly, the remaining germs will be obvious.”
Our Infection Control Team will be educating the volunteers on how to use the Glo Germ kit, so that they can effectively provide ongoing hand hygiene education to patients, families and visitors everyday.
The goal of the Infection Control Team at HDGH is to identify and reduce the risks of hospital acquired infections in patients, healthcare workers and visitors. The program co-ordinates all activities related to the surveillance, prevention and control of hospital acquired infections. The program encourages all involved in patient care to do the right things, to do them well and to be focused toward improvement of processes and outcomes.
Our Infection Control Team is responsible for all surveillance activities dealing with infections. Some of these are: full epidemiological studies on all multi resistant organisms; review of surgical site infections; trending of other significant organisms or infections (bacteremias, pneumonias, etc.); outbreak control; febrile respiratory illness monitoring; and correct placement of patients needing isolation precautions. They are our local experts on certain issues that could lead to infections.
Blanchard and her team are also our official link to world experts such as the World Health Organization, the Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada. They make sure that HDGH is up to date on everything we do.
“A major part of our job is to provide education to the frontline staff,” states Blanchard. “Whether on our daily rounds or during our many formal education sessions, we help staff understand infections and how they travel.”
For more information contact Steve Erwin, Director of Communications at (519) 973-4433.