Preventing Hospital Infections
Infection Control is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of infection among patients, visitors and healthcare workers. Infections can occur after many types of medical procedures.
Cullman Regional Medical Center is dedicated to your safety and well-being. These are a just a few of the things we do to ensure your safety during your stay:
What You Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Infection
- We are one of the few hospitals in the state of Alabama that requires all employees have the flu vaccination. If employees are unable to be vaccinated, they must wear a protective mask when entering patient care areas during flu season.
- We also use Proventix nGage monitoring system with radio frequency identification badges to ensure hand hygiene. Since we began using this system our hand hygience compliance has increased up to 98% in some staff members. The national average is 48%.
- CRMC staff perform tasks daily to prevent infections. There are actions taken called “bundles” to prevent surgical site infections, catheter associated urine infections, blood stream infections related to central lines, etc.
- Staff use isolation precautions when caring for patients identified with multi-drug resistant infections or who are at high risk for them. This includes the wearing of gowns, gloves, and masks when needed to prevent the spread of resistant bacteria to others.
- Hospital rooms are cleaned with special cleaning products to remove resistant bacteria from room surfaces.
- Special cleaning processes are used to clean equipment to ensure equipment is not a source of infection.
Proper Hand Washing Technique
- Wash Your Hands. Good hand washing is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of infection. Wash your hands before and after eating, drinking smoking or handling food. Also wash your hands thoroughly after restroom use.
- Remind your Healthcare team to Wash their hands. Since you are part of your healthcare team, please remind doctors and nurses about washing their hands before working with you. It is okay to ask your healthcare team – including doctors – if they have washed their hands.
- When coughing or sneezing, please consider others. If you do not have a tissue handy, cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not into the air for germs to be shared. If you cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. Do not use handkerchiefs.
- If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Please tell your nurse promptly if the dressing looks wet or gets wet.
- Likewise, if you have a dressing on a wound, please let your nurse know promptly if it works loose or gets wet.
- If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, please let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.
- If you have diabetes, be sure that you and your doctor discuss the best way to control your blood sugar before, during and after your hospital stay. High blood sugar increases the risk of infection.
- If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce the risk of infection following surgery.
- If you are a smoker, you should consider a smoking cessation program. This will reduce the chance of developing a lung infection while in the hospital and may also improve your healing following surgery.
- Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions regarding breathing treatments and getting out of bed. Please don't be afraid to ask for help, advice, or pain medications.
- If possible, please ask your friends and relatives not to visit if they feel sick.
- Please don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so that you may fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. You and your family/friends will be able to better help you with your recovery.
- Use soap and water and lots of friction – rub your hands together rapidly.
- Lather and scrub your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Rinse hands thoroughly.
- Dry with a paper towel and then use a dry paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Infection Control Regulations
Most patients can receive live plants or flowers. Those who cannot include patients in critical care units or immunocompromised patients such as those receiving chemotherapy. These patients can receive silk flowers, cards or e-cards.
Other regulations include
- Food should be handled and stored properly to prevent spoiling.
- Visits by children under age 12 are discouraged. This protects the patient as well as the children.
- Personal pets are not allowed in the hospital.
If you have any questions, please ask your physician or nurse or call Cullman Regional Medical Center’s Infection Control Department at (256) 737-2456.