Tuesday, 19 February 2013

At MAHC, infection control is everyone’s responsibility

Many people are wary about entering a hospital, as they are afraid of getting sick. While broken arms are not contagious, there are many patients that come to the hospital with colds, flus and other contagious infections, which could potentially make the facility a hotspot for illnesses and bacteria.

That’s why infection control is so important to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. All of our facilities have policies and procedures in place to minimize the spread of infection and to keep our patients and staff safe.

Many infections are transmitted indirectly through touch and environmental surfaces, which is why proper hand washing is so important. All staff at MAHC maintain strict hand hygiene protocols, but it’s also important for visitors to ensure their hands are properly cleaned. Most people don’t wash their hands long enough to kill bacteria. In order to be effective, you should rub your soapy hands together for at least 15 seconds. Try humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice to help you keep count.

MAHC also has alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout all of our facilities and visitors are asked to use it upon entering and exiting the building or a patient room and throughout their stay. Masks are also available for those with respiratory infections, colds and flus. Wearing the mask can prevent viruses from being spread to others when we cough or sneeze.

In addition, MAHC has an Infection Prevention and Control program that includes surveillance, education, policy development and review and continuous quality improvement.

If you feel unwell or are ill with a cough, fever, respiratory infection or diarrhea, please do not visit the hospital until you are feeling better. It is also wise to take precautions against influenza and get your flu shot annually.

For more information on MAHC’s facilities, policies and procedures, please visit our website at www.mahc.ca.