CHI - Mercy Hospital Valley City

Spring 2017

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Whether you're receiving medical care at CHI Mercy Health or simply stopping by to visit a loved one, worries about getting an infection should be the last thing on your mind. Hospital-acquired infections can develop following surgery or during a hospital stay. Every day, roughly one in 25 hospital patients develops at least one hospital-acquired infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These potentially serious conditions can include urinary tract infections (UTIs), surgical site infections, and pneumonia. These infections can be caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)—a form of Staph infection resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics—and Clostridium difficile, a bacterial gastrointestinal bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and can be difficult to treat. ON HIGH ALERT During the past 10 years, CHI Mercy Health has put into place several infection-prevention protocols to protect our patients and their families. These steps include hand hygiene, isolating people who are sick, and using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, a key component in preventing Clostridium difficile infection. "Since 2008, we've had zero cases of hospital- acquired MRSA, catheter-associated UTIs, and central line blood stream infections," says Susan Kringlie, MT(ASCP), Laboratory, Radiology, and Infection Prevention Manager at CHI Mercy Health. "We also have historically low rates of surgical-site infections." Thanks to a recent donation from the CHI Mercy Health Foundation, we've recently purchased new signs to be placed outside each patient room. These let healthcare providers and loved ones know if a patient is in isolation so they can take appropriate precautions like washing their hands more frequently, especially before entering or leaving the room, and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment like gowns or gloves. "Our number one focus is patient safety," Susan says. "It takes every person in our hospital to help prevent infections, and we continue to educate our staff and community members about the things they can do to prevent infection both at home and in the hospital." For more information about the services available at CHI Mercy Health, visit Make the most of the time you spend getting your house in order with these tips from Susan Kringlie, MT(ASCP), Laboratory, Radiology, and Infection Prevention Manager at CHI Mercy Health: SPRING CLEAN We're Committed to Your Safety 3. Make spring cleaning a family affair. Giving young kids easy tasks—think dusting, making beds, and sorting toys—helps them build good habits they'll carry into adulthood. 2. Tackle clutter. Purge and organize closets and toy boxes, and donate items you no longer use. This helps limit the number of surfaces on which dust and dirt can collect. 1. Disinfect high-touch surfaces. You probably (and should!) wipe down counters and doorknobs regularly, so focus your spring-cleaning efforts on disinfecting items that may be overlooked during the year. Examples are baseboards, refrigerator bins and shelves, and garbage can interiors. Susan Kringlie, MT(ASCP) Spruce Up Your /// CATHOLIC HEALTH INITIATIVES 3

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