Web site spotlight: Bring infection control training to all employees

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 24, 2009

While many infection control (IC) training and practices focus on clinical procedures, a substantial part of preventing healthcare-associated infections relies on staff members without the initals RN at the end of their name.

The support services area of IC, including housekeeping and the janitorial staff, play a significant role in protecting patients and staff members from infections. Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, a community in Ontario, Canada, recognized this and realized that without proper training and education, support services staff members would not be able to sufficiently fulfill their duties and IC would suffer as a result.

This prompted Northumberland to create the Support Services Infection Control Framework, a new program designed to train and educate the housekeeping and janitorial sections of the hospital on the importance of IC and the role they play.

Training was developed and then released in a four-module program. The first module served as a classroom introduction to the importance of IC in support services procedures such as cleaning. The second module took staff members out of the classroom to practical demonstration of procedures such as hand washing. The third and fourth modules followed the same pattern, first reviewing the cleaning routine and additional precautions, and then following up with a hands-on demonstration of the practices and cleaning routine for isolation and nonisolation rooms, as well as cough etiquette.

“The infection rates have gone down, and we attribute it to the support services framework and to the great job that our cleaning staff does on a day-to-day basis and to their efforts to maintain high standards,” says Myonne Allan, MLT, CIC, Northumberland’s director of laboratory services and IC.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted fromMake support staff part of infection controlfound in the Reading Room at Get a free trial membership that will give you 30 days to test drive all the exciting features on the Web site.

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