Staff take every precaution to avoid infections. However, some patients have a higher risk of acquiring an infection (Healthcare Associated Infections) in hospital/ day hospital. Patients with wounds, invasive devices (such as drips) and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public. We need to avoid infections because they may cause illness to the patient, resulting in a transfer to a larger hosptial and a longer recovery time.
What are Healthcare Associated Infections?
Healthcare associated infections (HAI) are infections that occur as a result of healthcare interventions and are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. They can happen when you are being treated in hospital, at home, in a GP Clinic, a nursing home or any other healthcare facility.
Some infections occur after an invasive procedure such as surgery and can be treated with antibiotics. However there are some infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile that are more difficult to treat because they are resistant to certain antibiotics.
The risk of getting these infections depends on how healthy you are, if you have been in another hospital and certain medications that you take (including antibiotics).
These specific infections require the use of special antibiotics and, at times, special precautions which may include placement in a single room and the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves and gowns.
Improvement strategies may vary from hospital to hospital. Examples are:
- Watching, auditing and measuring how often staff wash their hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
- Routine use of gloves and specially sterilised equipment.
- An Infection Control Nurse in each hospital, to investigate issues, educate staff and carry out strategies to reduce infections.
- Use of specialised approved disinfectants for cleaning and disinfecting rooms, bathrooms, equipment and shared areas. High level disinfection and sterilisation are used according to national guidelines.
- Placement of hand sanitiser dispensers in public areas throughout our clinic including hallways and reception making this readily accessible to staff, patients, families and visitors.
If additional precautions are required, staff may wear gloves, gowns, masks and goggles.
How can you help?
At Lavida Cosmetic Medicine, patients and visitors are part of the health care team. Hand washing is the most important way that patients and visitors can prevent the spread of infection in hospital. Waterless hand sanitiser is just as effective as washing with soap and water. Clinic staff will appreciate a reminder from patients or relatives if they forget to wash their hands.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of infection:
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering the clinic.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or into your elbow if you don’t have one). Clean your hands afterwards – every time!
- Report any infection you have had, especially if you are still on antibiotics
- Make sure you take the full course of antibiotics you have been given, even if you are feeling better
- If you have a dressing or a wound, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Let the healthcare worker looking after you know promptly if it becomes loose or wet
- Tell the healthcare worker looking after you if the area around the drips, lines, tubes or drains inserted into your body becomes red swollen or painful.
- Let the healthcare worker looking after you know if your room or equipment hasn’t been cleaned properly
- Stop smoking before any surgery, as smoking increases the risk of infection.
- Reconsider your visit if you have an illness such as a cough, cold or gastroenteritis
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving a patient’s room.
- By Proving Patient Discharge Information Lavida Cosmetic Medicine provides comprehensive information both before and after your surgery to assist patients to be fully informed, prepared and in control of your planning for discharge and post discharge follow up
- By Collating Patient feedback All patients are given the opportunity to provide feedback, formally and informally. This feedback is treated with the utmost confidentiality and may be provided anonymously. Your opinion is important to us so when you receive a survey or a follow up phone call, we encourage you to take the time to advise us of your feedback. There have been a number of changes to patient information as a result of patient feedback over the years.