Prevent, Track & Eliminate C. diff
Key Workflows & Technology Tips
Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacteria exists all around us. C. diff infection is a serious disease that takes a heavy toll on the people afflicted with it. C. diff spores are easily spread and extremely difficult to kill. C. diff is a serious problem with serious consequences, within the hospital and well beyond. Its growing prevalence requires healthcare organizations to take proactive and comprehensive approaches to preventing, tracking and eliminating C. diff and other Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs).
Why is C. diff so pervasive? C. diff is one of the most common microbial causes of HAIs in the United States. It is in the air, water, soil and in the feces of humans and animals. Many people have the bacteria in their intestines, but never have any symptoms. Its spores are resistant to common disinfectants allowing them to survive the surface disinfection process. These unseen pathogens can be continuously transmitted between the patient, environment and hands of healthcare workers. C. diff can spread anywhere – from the initial admission to throughout a hospital stay.
Reduce the Risk to Patients, Staff and Visitors
A comprehensive approach to C. diff can break the chain of infection and help to decrease the spread of this organism throughout your hospital. There are many paths of transmission that contribute to the spread of C. diff from infected patients to the hands of healthcare workers, visitors and the environment. Progressive distribution of spores happens through multiple contacts to multiple surfaces and people. Ensure your staff is trained to identify patients exhibiting C. diff symptoms.
To guard against C. diff, follow three key environmental and hand hygiene workflows to help ensure your facility breaks the chain of infection and improves patient outcomes.
- Identify and Communicate Risk. Communications remains key to controlling the spread of C. diff during complex interactions and location changes in hospitals. Proper communication protocols better support the tracking and reporting of infections and prevention efforts.
- Assess Appropriate and Timely Environmental Hygiene. Implement a strong process to regularly audit the adequacy of room cleaning, so you know before you have an issue. Audits and processes will also help you proactively identify where your staff can improve. Stay ahead of potential outbreaks through proactive daily use of a sporicidal disinfectant with good material compatibility for daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.
- Implement Hand Hygiene Practices. Hands are the main pathways for germ transmission during healthcare. Practicing good hand hygiene is key to mitigating the spread of C. diff. The ability to accurately monitor hand hygiene in your hospital can drive positive change, decrease the risk of HAIs and improve patient outcomes. With the more stringent interpretation of the hand hygiene policy issued by the Joint Commission in January 2018, immediate citations will be issued for any single instance of a healthcare worker's non-compliance during a patient interaction.
Transform the way your hospital assesses, communicates, tracks and reports C. diff and other HAIs to drive and sustain better patient outcomes and increase compliance. To learn how to implement these workflows into your hospital program and to gain insightful technology tips, visit www.ecolab.com/healthcareinsightscenter.