Patient Safety

Patient Safety


The West Parry Sound Health Centre has a strong commitment to patient safety. With that goal at the forefront the Infection Control Department is responsible for working with

employees, visitors and patients to control the spread of infections

Did you know that hand hygiene is the simplest way to prevent up to 50% of infections and illnesses?

Every year in modern hospitals 5-10 % of patients acquire one or more preventable infections. Older patients, individuals with weak immune systems and patients who have been in hospitals over a long time are highly vulnerable to these infections. Some of these infections are MRSA, VRE and C. difficile. These infections can be transmitted through touch and we all play a role in ensuring that infections are not transmitted through the hands of caring people.


Here are some definitions to help you understand infections.

Health Care-associated infection (HAI) or nosocomial infection is an infection occurring in a patient during the process of care in a hospital or other health care facility if the infection is detected 72 hours after admission and it is not likely the patient was exposed to the bacteria prior to the admission.

Community Acquired / Non-nosocomial infection is an infection that the patient presents with symptoms of on admission or less than 72 hours after admission and has a positive laboratory test.

Resistant organisms are germs or bacteria that would normally have responded to antibiotics and have now developed resistance to certain antibiotics. MRSA and VRE are two examples.

Surveillance is routinely done to check patients for MRSA and VRE by taking swabs from certain places on the patients body on admission and at other times. If a patient has diarrhea a stool sample is tested for C. difficile. New symptoms of fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cough are investigated to rule out the start of a new infection.

It is important to monitor for these types of infections because we do not want them to spread between patients or from patient to visitor.

How do we control the spread of infections?

Hand Hygiene

Environmental Cleaning

Sterilization of Equipment

Single Use of Supplies

Personal Protective Equipment

Education, and

Additional Isolation precautions