Eastern Long Island Hospital has an extremely good record with regard to infection control. With drug-resistant superbugs in the news, it's reassuring to know your community hospital has strong infection control practices in place. Measures to prevent infection at hospitals are universal and hand washing is at the top of the list. Protocols include educating the staff on the proper techniques for hand hygiene which include frequent hand washing, and ensuring that masks, gowns and gloves are used when treating patients with drug-resistant organisms or weakened immune systems. All environmental surfaces must also be correctly disinfected. The diligence of the staff in adhering to these protocols keeps infection under control.
You can also protect yourself from infection while in the hospital. Wash your hands often or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Make sure everyone who comes in contact with you has washed their hands before touching you. Don’t be afraid to ask hospital personnel to do so; it’s in everyone’s interest to prevent the spread of infection! There are only two acceptable answers: “Thank you for reminding me,” and “I just did it, but thank you for asking.” While in the hospital, ask visitors to wash hands as well.
Proper hand washing is the single most effective means of preventing the spread of infection. Follow these simple steps to prevent the spread of germs.
• Wet your hands with warm running water.
• Add soap, then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather.
• Do this away from the running water for at least fifteen seconds
• Scrub the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
• Remember, friction is your friend.
• Rinse hands well under warm running water,
• Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows.
• Use a paper towel, to turn off the sink and dispose in the trash.
• Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel.
• Alcohol-based hand-sanitizers can be effective at killing bacteria, provided they are at least 60% alcohol.
This information is provided by the Infection Control Department at Eastern Long Island Hospital.