Surveillance, Prevention & Control of Infection
The Infection Control Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth was established for the surveillance, prevention and control of infection. The goal is to identify and reduce the risks of acquiring and transmitting infections among patients, employees, physicians and anyone who comes in contact with the hospital.
All hospitals run the risk of nosocomial infections — that is, infections acquired in the hospital — as well as infections brought into the hospital. These infections may be endemic (common cause) or epidemic (special cause), and they may affect patients, and health care workers and others who come into contact with patients. There are also iatrogenic infections, which arise from the actions or treatments of a physician or other health care provider.
The surveillance, prevention and control of infection covers a broad range of processes and activities, both in direct patient care and in patient care support, that are coordinated and carried out by the hospital. This function also links with external organization support systems to reduce the risk of infection from the environment, including food and water sources.
Here are some of the ways BID Plymouth works toward controlling infection:
- Personal and protective equipment are available throughout the hospital
- Employee immunization program
- Safety mechanisms such as the SHARP program, the availability of sheath needles and other protective devices to protect patients and staff from sharp instruments
- Hand hygiene program which includes regular reminders to employees; waterless hand sanitizers, and antimicrobial soap in all restrooms and various patient areas
- Ban on acrylic or non-natural nails
- “Bug Stops Here” program to prevent the spread of influenza and SARS
- Special telephones outside each hospital lobby to report the presence of a contaminated item before bringing into the hospital
- Diligent housekeeping practices
- Each department has policies and procedures in place to prevent the spread of infection
- Biodefense procedures in place