C. difficile: Prevention & Control
Unfortunately, like many hospitals in Ontario our size, on any given day, STEGH likely has patients in isolation with infectious diseases such as C. difficile. Our focus on patient and staff safety includes a concerted effort in preventing and managing C. difficile in this facility.
The STEGH Infection Control Committee has supported and recommended a number of strategies to minimize risk as outlined in our policies and procedures.
STEGH uses multiple controls to prevent the spread of C. difficile, which includes but is not limited to:
- Hand hygiene facilitation: Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) has been strategically placed at Point of Care within the patient’s environment so that all care providers can easily access it. STEGH participated in the MOHLTC Just Clean Your Hands pilot and continues to emphasize hand hygiene practice as one of the key components to prevent spread.
- Education: STEGH staff has been educated on the procedure for managing C. difficile which is based on the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee’s (PIDAC) C. difficile Best Practice Guidelines. Infection Control practices are audited on a regular basis.
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The use of PPE (gown, and gloves) is required by all who enter the patient environment.
- Isolation requirements: Our control measures include appropriate patient placement. Patients with diarrhea will have ‘Enhanced Contact’ isolation signage posted outside their room that reviews all necessary instructions that must be followed by all as they enter and exit the patient room. The isolation signage provides a visible communication tool that prompts enhanced environmental cleaning.
- Tracking Patient Care Needs: The health care team reviews each patient with C. difficile symptoms daily, to determine the patient’s response to treatment and to alter care as required.
- Environmental cleaning is ongoing using recommended germicides.
- STEGH conducts twice-daily room cleaning for patients requiring Enhanced Contact Precautions.
- A new sporacidal agent is part of the new cleaning practices. This cleaner is used to clean all components of the patient environment.
- Our cleaning staff is well trained and is dedicated to keeping our hospital clean and safe for our patients.
- Ongoing audits of the management of C. difficile.