Infection rates are a major source of dialogue for every hospital and surgical center because high rates of infection impact both the patients and the reputation of the facility itself. More importantly, hospital-acquired infections are incredibly dangerous, leading to longer hospital stays, increased health care charges, increased recovery times and (potentially) even life-threatening side effects for patients.
Keeping Infection Rates Down at Edgewood Surgical Hospital
At Edgewood Surgical Hospital, we take infections seriously and, as a result, have one of the lowest infection rates in the state of Pennsylvania. We know that an infection can significantly impact a patient’s life both now and in the future and we take numerous steps to prevent infections before, during and after every single surgical procedure. Below are six of the steps we take each day to ensure that every patient can benefit from our low infection rates.
Cutting-Edge Surgical and Post-Surgical Practices
Some infections start in the operating room. However, at Edgewood, we focus on having the cleanest possible operating rooms, ensuring that each suite is completely separated from nearby rooms and controlling airflow in the facility to purify the air constantly. Each surgeon and all of our staff follow rigorous procedures before entering an operating room and before interacting with any sterile fields. Additionally, our surgeons wear special protective equipment, including gloves, gowns, face masks and face shields during each surgery.
Post-surgery, we continue to use best practices to ensure that wounds are kept clean and patients are protected from infections. For example, we frequently use bundled supplies for IV kits and common wound care items to keep sterile fields intact and to improve compliance with our standard procedures.
At Edgewood, we are proud that our infection rate is 160 times lower than the average rate for all hospitals in Pennsylvania.
The operating room at Edgewood is carefully cleaned following each procedure. Germs can be present on even the smallest of surfaces, but our attention to detail ensures the cleanest possible environment for every new patient entering our facility.
In addition, sterilization in the operating room extends to the instruments we use for each of our patients. We use state-of-the-art disinfectors to ensure the highest level of sterilization on each reusable instrument, and we monitor all of our sterilizing equipment regularly to ensure that it is up to the highest safety standards. In addition, we use proper protocols for delivering sterilized instruments and supplies to each of our surgical suites.
While some infections can take hold in an operating room, patients must also be aware of their surroundings both before and after surgery. From the pre-operative holding area to the inpatient room for those staying the night, one’s surroundings must be clean and clutter-free to prevent the spread and growth of pathogens. Our cleaning staff takes special precautions to cleanse every patient area, including bed rails, bedside tables, linens, blood pressure cuffs, faucets, keyboards and much more.
Hand hygiene is one of the most well-documented ways to decrease infection rates nearly anywhere you go. From a young age, we are taught how important it is to wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water several times each day. This simple task becomes no less important in the surgical setting. In fact, it is well-documented that a health care worker’s hands are the primary vehicles for the spread of infections.
Every time we come in contact with a patient, we clean our hands (and we often use latex or non-latex gloves to further protect ourselves as well as our patients). Many times, antibacterial hand gel or an alcohol-based hand antiseptic is the best option for routine contact. However, before a surgical intervention, thorough hand and nail washing is vital to prevent deep and dangerous infections in surgical wounds. Our hand hygiene compliance rates at Edgewood prove that the health of our patients matters greatly to us.
While everyone learns about infection control in medical school, continuing education is important for reinforcing these values. Our staff routinely goes through continuing education modules to ensure that each individual has the most up-to-date information about infection control and to allow our staff to practice hand hygiene and infection control skills.
Staff culture at Edgewood Surgical Hospital is based on patient safety and infection control, and we routinely review our policies and procedures to ensure that we are doing our best to protect our patients. Our health care leaders take a multi-faceted approach to ensuring that our patient care processes and every patient interaction are the safest they can be. When needed, our staff implements changes that are supported by research and that are based on comparative data.
Finally, at Edgewood, we recognize that patient education is just as important as staff education. Our patients need to know how to prepare before surgery, such as using a special body wash or by limiting their use of deodorants and lotions. Even more importantly, they must know how to care for their surgical wounds and dressings, when to take a shower or bath and how to address certain complications, such as bleeding or swelling.
Patient education programs also extend to the patient’s family members who may be called on to help during the recovery period at home. By giving patients and their family members thorough oral instructions and by sending them home with plenty of pamphlets and other materials, they feel competent in caring for themselves and can successfully avoid surgical infections.
Choosing Edgewood for Your Next Surgery
When you choose Edgewood Surgical Hospital for your next procedure, you can rest easy knowing that our dedication to proven infection prevention strategies will keep each of our patients safe and healthy before, during and after surgery.
We are incredibly proud of our low infection rates (which are the best in the entire state of Pennsylvania). Our modern facility is kept in pristine condition at all times, and our staff stays constantly up-to-date on the latest infection control measures so that you can put any worries you have about infection to rest.
See what Edgewood Surgical Hospital can do for you!