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Nationally recognized for its leadership in infection control, The Ottawa Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Program is an essential component of quality patient care. The program’s evidence-based guidance and recommendations help reduce the risk of infection for patients, staff and visitors.

The program helps ensure the protection of patients, health-care workers, staff and visitors from preventable hospital acquired disease through surveillance, education, consultation, outbreak investigation, research and the development of policies and procedures.

Hospital-Acquired Infection

A hospital-acquired infection is one that was not present or incubating prior to the patient being admitted to the hospital, but occurred within 48-72 hours after admittance to the hospital.

TOH monitors infection rates very closely. Despite our best efforts, hospital acquired cases of MRSA, and C difficile are on the rise in hospitals across Canada. This increases is due to a number of reasons including:

  • Today’s hospitalized patients are sicker than ever before;
  • The number of patients with weakened immune systems is increasing;
  • New devices and procedures with inherent risks are in use;
  • Antibiotic use is resulting in the development of resistant bacteria;
  • Increased travel allows global spread of bacteria and other pathogens.

To combat this rise in infection rates, TOH has implemented several measures to address infection rates, including:

  • Hand hygiene program with increase access to alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Screening patients on admission for silent carriage of resistant germs;
  • Use of single rooms, gowns, and gloves to control spread;
  • Renovations to patient care areas;
  • Increased housekeeping resources;
  • Education and awareness campaigns for patients and health-care providers.

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