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Your health is of utmost importance to everyone at Martha Jefferson Hospital. Everyone in the hospital, from clinicians to our Environmental Services staff, is constantly working to provide you with the safest, most comfortable surroundings possible.
Martha Jefferson’s goal is always to prevent any possible infections, and we are committed to following the most stringent best practices when it comes to infection prevention. To that end, we have implemented a number of efforts, including:
One benefit of building an entirely new hospital is that years of research can be taken into account from the beginning of the design process, and the facility can be developed with the latest, most effective infection control measures in mind. In addition, our new hospital was built with an eye toward developments that may arise in the future.
Among the features of the hospital aimed at infection prevention are:
Martha Jefferson integrated the principles of a field of study known as evidence-based design (EBD), for maximum benefit. Used effectively, EBD can help hospitals take advantage of their data to improve patient and staff wellness, the overall healing process, and other safety factors. For more information about EBD, see our article in the Summer 2011 issue of Martha Jefferson Magazine.
Hand washing is critical to ensuring that bacteria and germs do not get spread from one person to another. Our staff is trained from the first day of their orientation and provided refreshers in its importance regularly to ensure that they wash their hands upon entering and leaving a room with a patient. Visitors and patients are also encouraged to use proper hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene is audited at the point of care. Martha Jefferson’s Leadership Team and Quality of Care Committees continuously receive and evaluate this information to address any issues in a proactive manner.
The Environmental Services staff is given the crucial task of helping ensure a clean hospital. As an important part of our clinical care team, they have been trained to be extremely conscientious in their daily tasks, ensuring they clean everything down to the smallest details, such as a TV remotes, light switches and telephones. Periodic validation is done to ensure we are doing our best work by spraying a solution on high-touch areas that shows if the area is not cleaned properly when you shine a backlight on it. Using this process, we can see if there are areas that we’ve missed.
Additionally we have ensured that any equipment that comes into a patient room stays in that room with that patient. When the patient is discharged, the equipment is cleaned as the room is to ensure there is no contamination from into other areas of the hospital.
Martha Jefferson Hospital has an Infection Control Committee comprised of representatives from specialty areas throughout the hospital, including physicians on our medical staff, members of our executive team, our infection control nurse, environmental services and our pharmacy. The committee meets quarterly to evaluate policies, review current infection control programs, best practice and discuss current infection control concerns. The Medical Staff authorizes and supports the Infection Control Chairperson or designees to institute appropriate infection control measures within the hospital. This includes authority to employ whatever methods necessary when, in their judgment, there is reasonable possibility of immediate danger to any patient(s), personnel or others in the Martha Jefferson Hospital facility. The Committee reports to the Safety Committee of which the infection control practitioner is a member.
Martha Jefferson Hospital knows that education is not something that is ever complete, and we consistently train our employees from the time they are hired. Clinical staff regularly receives refresher courses on sterile technique and infection prevention. When new best practices arise, Martha Jefferson ensures that everyone learns the new practices so they can strive toward the highest standards.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of illness, some patients do acquire an infection. It is a rare but always regrettable occurrence. When a patient does acquire an infection, an interdisciplinary team from Martha Jefferson immediately conducts an in depth review of the case to attempt to pinpoint the cause of the infection if possible and to improve our practices.
Martha Jefferson Hospital reports its results for several measures to the US. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, you may visit their site.