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What is being done to prevent infections in hospitals?

At Sonora Regional Medical Center, patient safety and infection prevention are extremely important, therefore, we have measures in place to help prevent the transmission of disease. Education is provided to patients about steps they can take to prevent infection, such as how to keep their wound or surgical site clean. Because hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of germs, employees and physicians are educated to wash or sanitize their hands after each patient contact. Employee and physician hand washing is monitored monthly using secret shoppers- and they are doing a great job! Hand sanitizers are located in patient rooms, waiting rooms, and at the hospital and clinic entrances for staff and visitors to use. To decrease transmission of resistant infections such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), patients with resistant infections are placed in separate rooms. Immunizations are provided to inpatients to reduce vaccine preventable illnesses such as influenza and pneumococcal disease. We also utilize specific techniques to prevent central line infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter associated urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections.

There are several infection prevention measures that are required by state and federal law. For instance, certain patients must be screened upon admission and at discharge if they are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. In addition, state and federal regulations also require hospitals to publicly report many types of infection such as surgical site infections, central line bloodstream infections, and MRSA bloodstream infections. These reports can be found on the California Department of Public Health website and the Hospital Compare website.

In order to provide the highest level of quality care we must always ensure that we follow best practices in infection prevention; and by reporting information about patient outcomes, we can measure our accomplishments in infection prevention.

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