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Public Health Ontario’s Infection Control Resource Team Report

March 25, 2013 – In September 2012, The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) asked Public Health Ontario to conduct an independent review of the hospital’s infection control and prevention practices. The expert review was triggered by TOH concerns about persistently high rates of Clostridium difficile, a health-care associated bacterial infection.
The expert panel visited The Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus on September 27, 2012. The members of the panel toured the facility and conducted interviews with hospital staff. They also reviewed TOH’s standards and practices for hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, logistics and antimicrobial stewardship.
On October 30, 2012, the panel produced a written report that included recommendations for action. The full text of the report can be found here:

Public Health Ontario’s Infection Control Resource Team Report – October 30, 2012

The Ottawa Hospital has acted on all of the panel’s recommendations. A summary of actions and progress can be found here:

icrt_recommendationscoverpageStatus Report: Recommendations from Public Health Ontario’s Infection Control Resource Team Report

Patient safety is a priority at The Ottawa Hospital. We are committed to being a hospital that is open and willing to address safety concerns. In the coming months, strategies to reduce C. difficile rates at TOH will focus on six key actions:

  1. Ensure prompt diagnosis and appropriate management of patients who may have the C. difficile infection
  2. Reduce clutter on inpatient units
  3.  Improve hand-hygiene compliance
  4. Ensure a high standard of cleaning and disinfection
  5. Ensure the appropriate and careful use of antibiotics
  6. Increase awareness of infection control and prevention methods among staff, patients, families and the community

Five ways hospital patients can help prevent C. difficile infections:

  1. Take antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor. Ask why you are taking them if you do not know.
  2. If you develop diarrhea, tell your doctor. Also tell your doctor if you have taken antibiotics in the past few months.
  3. Wash your hands after using the bathroom.
  4. Make sure that all doctors, nurses, and other health-care providers clean their hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for you.
  5. Ask doctors, nurses and other health-care providers if they need to wear protective gowns and gloves when they visit you.

Learn more about C. difficile