Innovation Proved to Reduce Infection

by Oliver Duke

Over the years many healthcare organisations have highlighted to us all how important basic hygiene protocols, such as hand washing, are when it comes to patient safety.

Only in 2014, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) highlighted that doctors and nurses should be doing more to stop patients developing infections.

We all remember “Now wash your hands” – a campaign that has probably made one of the most effective contributions to public health. We know that regularly washing your hands, especially after going to the toilet or if you have the cold or the flu, will help prevent the spread of MRSA and other infections.

But how do hospital staff instil this to patients and hospital visitors?

I’m not sure if it was great planning or excellent timing, but the staff in infection control at Addenbrooke's took action and have managed to keep hospital-acquired MRSA at bay for the last 23 months.

Not since February 2014 has Addenbrooke’s seen a case of hospital-acquired MRSA. How come? The reason the rates are so low is that the staff actively look for MRSA on patients and visitors skin.

Addenbrooke’s staff swab everyone that comes through the Emergency Department and people coming in for elective surgery for MRSA. If identified, they are given some treatment to try and wash it off their skin and stop them getting an infection from it. Infections have reduced because the risk is identified as soon as someone enters the hospital.

With the worst of the winter to come, flu bugs and more galore, it’s important for us all to take a little time to remind ourselves that we all need to take basic hygiene steps to reduce infection.

Addenbrooke’s took innovative steps to reduce the risk of infection and it worked and I’m sure they’ll continue to be pro-active in this area. I’d be delighted to hear from you if you have further examples of innovative to reduce the risk of infection.

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