Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)
"Infection Prevention and Control is everyone's Responsibility."
Infection Prevention & Control plays a vital role in Healthcare institutions in terms of quality of care and patient safety, which greatly impacts the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, particularly COVID-19 disease that was globally classified as a serious pandemic.
However, implementing the COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures at our hospital has been challenging for the Infection Prevention & Control department. We had difficulties convincing the hospital staff and the public to adhere to the Infection Prevention & Control practices due to resistance to change. Such precautionary and preventive measures have been taken by the Infection Prevention & Control to instill a sense of responsibility, especially in the healthcare providers who render direct patient care to COVID-19 positive cases, to ensure their safety.
We all have a personal responsibility to do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its socio-economic impact worldwide. We took the lead in strictly following the precautionary and preventive measures to bring about change in our employees and society’s culture, whereas one of the most important IPC values is to bring about change in the individual's behavior, such as strict adherence to hand hygiene and appropriate use of personal protective equipment, social distancing, and wearing masks. Intensive training and sharing of accurate information about dealing with positive cases of COVID-19 were among the factors that positively contributed to the commitment process.
Despite the fact the COVID-19 Vaccine is available; still, the hospital staff and the community have to be committed to infection prevention and control practices to ensure their safety and avoid contracting this deadly pandemic disease.
Do you know that around two to ten million bacteria can be found between our fingertips and elbows? Hand Hygiene is essential to stop the spread of infection.
What is the importance of Hand Hygiene?
- Hand Hygiene is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus.
- Hands have a crucial role in the transmission of COVID-19. Where the COVID-19 virus primarily spreads through droplet and contact transmission. Contact transmission means touching infected people and/or contaminated objects or surfaces. Thus, your hands can spread the virus to other surfaces and/or to your mouth, nose, or eyes if you touch them.
- Hand hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAI’s).
- The hospital has provided Alcohol Hand Rub in wall-mounted dispensers in all public areas as protection for patients, staff, and visitors from the spread of infection.
- Personal Hygiene is important; wash your hands regularly with soap and water before handling food and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or after each visit to the toilet.
- To use the alcohol hand rub, apply the solution to the palm of one hand, then rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of the hand, and in particular, fingertips and fingernails. It should take 20-30 seconds for the solution to dry on your hands.
- Help us by encouraging your visitors to use the provided alcohol hand rub solution too.
Some patients may need extra care if they have certain infections. Additional precautions were taken and tailored to the particular germ causing the infection, such as:
1- Screening everyone (Patients, visitors, all hospital employees, etc.) through temperature metal detectors that were installed in all hospital entrances. Besides that, the use of the visual screening checklist to detect any suspected case with a respiratory illness such as (MERS-COV, COVID-19, and others respiratory illnesses), along with maintaining 1.5 meters social distance from each other at all times.
2- Providing single rooms with dedicated toilets.
3- Ensuring the availability of the appropriate personal protective equipment for staff and patients.
4- Providing special ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
5- Mandatory use of the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as face masks, gowns, gloves, head, and shoe covers, etc.…
6- Restriction of the staff and patients’ movement as far as possible.
Cough and Sneeze Etiquette should be followed to protect yourself and others:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw your tissue in the trash immediately after use.
- If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow. Avoid using your hands.
- Wash and sanitize your hands immediately after each cough or sneeze.