Infection Prevention and Control Program
The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) program involves plans, policies, activities and processes aimed at reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance at the hospital. This program has been an integral part of NCHRC policy since its inception.
The primary objective of the IPC program is to improve patient quality of life by implementing policies aimed at reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections and to protect staff against occupational exposures. For this, the IPC program implements the following activities:
- Surveillance of hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers
- Surveillance of healthcare associated infections (including catheter associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infection and ventilator associated pneumonia)
- Monitoring of environmental contamination of high risk areas (OT, ICU, leukemic ward, Microbiology laboratory, visitor and patient kitchen, café)
- Water sampling and testing
- Isolation of transmissible infections and monitoring of isolation precautions
- Coordinating pre-exposure prophylaxis for hepatitis B
- Monitoring and coordination of healthcare waste management activities
- Surveillance of occupational exposures (needle stick injuries and blood/ body fluid exposures) and their management
- Monthly audits to monitor adherence to infection control practices
- Training and regular orientation to healthcare personnel on IPC facets
The results of surveillance and audit are relayed to the concerned healthcare personnel, with root cause analysis for non-conformances and ensuing mitigation measures. This is an ongoing process to maintain continual improvement.
At the height of COVID-19 pandemic, the IPC team formulated plans for COVID-19 preparedness and response. The IPC program expanded to include policies and practices to screen patients, visitors and staff, streamline patient flow, isolate and test suspected cases, trace contacts of confirmed cases and counsel contacts while setting them in quarantine. To tackle the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the beginning of the pandemic, the IPC team played a crucial role in developing and rationing PPE. Training and orientation sessions on COVID-19 preparedness, PPE donning and doffing were conducted for staff as well as patients and visitors.
Annually the 5th of May is celebrated as the World Hand Hygiene Day as a day of awareness and celebration. The wards or units with the best performance are rewarded and acknowledged for their important contribution to implementing IPC practices. Through a multidisciplinary approach and cohesive teamwork, the IPC program binds all healthcare workers within NCHRC towards protection of patients and staff.