Infection Control - High Standards at PDH

Friday, 9 August 2013
Portland District Health is continuing to maintain high standards of infection control with new survey results confirming the safe practices.

The hospital is tracking above average in hand hygiene compliance and sterilising practices, and has had no recent reports of blood stream infections.

Infection control is an important issue for a local community when deciding where to have procedures performed. Public access to infection control compliance data is available via and PDH reports well above the national average with no reports of blood steam infections and its latest hand hygiene compliance rate of 88.2%, well above the national average of 78.8%.

The hospital’s sterilising practises are audited against the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS 4187 each year by the Rural Infection Control Practice Group. The 2013 audit showed PDH compliance was an impressive 98.7%.

PDH staff influenza vaccination uptake for 2013 was 71% exceeding the DOH benchmark of 65%.

Another indicator of robust infection control practises is the low rate of hospital acquired surgical site infections. The last case of MRSA (Golden Staph) reported at PDH was back in 2007.

PDH Infection Control Nurse Loren Drought said the local community was benefitting from the safe infection control practises and the hospital’s community involvement to promote safe and healthy practices.

The PDH infection control department assists in providing influenza vaccinations to school groups, special care facilities and the local ambulance service. Education sessions have been provided at medical and dental services as well as the local council and Rotary groups.

Ms Drought said PDH’s infection control department was primarily responsible for ensuring a safe environment is provided for patients, staff, visitors and the wider community.

This is achieved by many processes from staff performing hand hygiene and the isolating of infectious patients to the sterilising department ensuring operating instruments are thoroughly processed and the engineering department testing water and hot water systems to ensure the systems are free from harmful bacteria such as Legionella.

However, Ms Drought said there was an increasing trend of presentations at the hospital from people who have community-acquired MRSA (nm-MRSA). “This infection is not as severe as MRSA and commonly occurs in people who have not been hospitalised, are generally healthy and in the young sporting community.”

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