INFECTION RATES

Bathurst Private Hospital has implemented infection control procedures, and staff take every precaution to avoid infections. However, some patients have a higher risk of acquiring an infection in hospital. Patients with wounds, invasive devices (such as drips) and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public. We need to avoid infections because they may lead to a longer recovery time.

 

What are Healthcare Associated Infections?

 

Healthcare associated infections (HAI) are infections that occur as a result of healthcare interventions and are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. They can happen when you are being treated in hospital, at home, in a GP Clinic, a nursing home or any other healthcare facility.

 

Some infections occur after an invasive procedure such as surgery and can be treated with antibiotics. However there are some infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) are more difficult to treat because they are resistant to certain antibiotics.

The risk of getting these infections depends on how healthy you are, how long you have been in hospital and certain medications that you take (including antibiotics).

These specific infections require the use of special antibiotics and, at times, admission to hospital.

 

 

What is Bathurst Private Hospital doing to prevent infections & to further reduce infections?

 

Bathurst Private Hospital collects data on hospital acquired infections and analyse the data to identify patterns and trends. Infection rates are shared and discussed with clinicians in an effort to identify and implement the best practices to reduce the risks for infection.

 

Improvement strategies can include:

  • Watching, auditing and measuring how often staff wash their hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser.

  • Routine use of gloves and sterilised equipment.

  • An Infection Control Nurse to investigate issues, educate staff and carry out strategies to reduce infections.

  • Use of specialised approved disinfectants for cleaning and disinfecting rooms, bathrooms, equipment and shared areas. High level disinfection and sterilisation are used according to national guidelines.

  • Placement of hand sanitiser dispensers.

  • If additional precautions are required, staff may wear gloves, gowns, masks and goggles.

 

How can you help?

Patients and visitors play an important role in health care system. Hand washing is the most important way that patients and visitors can prevent the spread of infection in hospital. Waterless hand sanitiser is just as effective as washing with soap and water.

 

There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering the hospital

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or into your elbow if you don't have one). Clean your hands afterwards – every time!

  • Report any infection you have had, especially if you are still on antibiotics

  • Make sure you take the full course of antibiotics you have been given, even if you are feeling better

  • If you have a dressing or a wound, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Let the healthcare worker looking after you know promptly if it becomes loose or wet

  • Stop smoking before any surgery, as smoking increases the risk of infection.

 

Visitors

  • Consider postponing your visit if you have an illness such as a cough, cold or gastroenteritis

  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser.

 

Report

There are several types of infections that we closely monitor . These are

  • Clostridium difficile – this is an infection of the bowel that causes diarrhoea.

  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia – known as “SAB” for short. This is a serious infection caused when this bacteria enters the blood stream.

 

The graphs below show the number of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile infections in our hospital each year compared to the Australian Government target and industry benchmarks. The graph shows the number of infections that occur for every 10,000 patient days. The national benchmark for Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals is no more than 2 cases per 10,000 patient days and for Clostridium difficile the rate varies from 2 to 3 cases per 10,000 days of patient car. Patients in the Bathurst Private hospitals have a very low number of infections.

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