VRE: Prevention & Control

St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital takes the care and safety of our patients very seriously, and we are committed to transparency, and continuous improvement.

Unfortunately, like many hospitals in Ontario our size, on any given day, in all likelihood, STEGH has patients in isolation with infectious diseases such as VRE. Our focus on patient and staff safety includes a concerted effort in preventing and managing VRE 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 VRE, 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 VRE which is based on the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee’s (PIDAC) ARO 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 VRE will have a ‘Contact’ isolation sign 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 VRE: STEGH screens all patients known to have a history of VRE, have risk factors for VRE on admission to our hospital.
  • Environmental cleaning is ongoing using recommended germicides.
    • STEGH conducts daily room cleaning using a special disinfectant.
    • Our cleaning staff is well trained and is dedicated to keeping our hospital clean and safe for our patients.