The Whiddon Group's Prevention and Management of Infection Outbreaks
Wash your hands Jeffery! Do you remember the commercial for Solvol soap? It may resonate with some and the message is still relevant, wash your hands to reduce the risk of spreading germs.
At Whiddon, we promote strategies to prevent infections including:
- Mandatory training in infection control
- Contemporary policies and user-friendly guides
- Practical skill assessments
- Regular tool box talks
- We encourage and support a culture that is vigilant and responsive
- An infection control surveillance plan
The spread of infection is everyone’s responsibility. All employees, visitors and contractors have a role to play. We all know that from time to time an outbreak can occur, despite having prevention strategies in place.
The key to reducing the impact of an outbreak is to act swiftly. It is important to implement strong clinical protocols to care for those affected and to enact strategies to reduce exposure to others.
Communication is essential and helps ensure that all staff, residents, visitors and families are informed, and if required, are provided with a management plan and a clear understanding of what’s expected of them during this period. Remember that hotel services staff also have an important role to play during this time.
Notifying, documenting and informing key staff and stakeholders is not only a requirement, it can often also present an opportunity to receive further guidance and support. Documentation is often relied on when the outbreak has resolved.
We encourage our management teams to undertake a critical contributing factor analysis at the end of an outbreak. This is an important opportunity to review the cause, management process and outcomes. Ask what could have been done to prevent the situation, could we have managed this better and what improvements can be made.
Emilia Graham, General Manager Clinical Governance