Mahaska Health Partnership Recognizes National Infection Prevention Week
MAHASKA COUNTY – In honor of National Infection Prevention Week, October 20-26, Mahaska Health Partnership is focusing on its new Inpatient Services and all the ways patient rooms have been enhanced to improve patient safety.
According to Kimberly Rutledge, RN, BSN, MHA, MPH, Mahaska Health Partnership’s Infection Control Coordinator, minimizing the risk of hospital-acquired infections is a high priority. “At MHP, we look to reduce any risk of infections during hospital stays for not only patients, but their visitors as well,” Rutledge stressed. “We achieve this by being vigilant about monitoring infections, as well as continuously training staff.
“By constantly improving our knowledge and technology, we can continue to provide excellent healthcare and protect our patients from unnecessary complications.”
Rutledge said the new Inpatient Services was carefully designed to help lessen the spread of infections. Each patient room is private and has an on-suite bathroom. Four of the rooms can be adapted for critical care needs. One of the critical care rooms has a negative airflow that uses pressure to prevent cross-contamination from room to room for contagious airborne conditions such as TB, chickenpox or measles.
“By only allowing air flow into the room and not out of it, our other patients are protected from airborne infections,” Rutledge said. “The new negative airflow room allows us to care for patients’ with these conditions right here at our hospital, rather than transferring them an hour away.”
Rutledge said that her department partners with front line staff at MHP to implement evidence-based best practices to prevent healthcare-associated infections. “Our goal is to create a culture of high reliability where we reach levels of quality and safety that surpass standard practice,” Rutledge explained.
“As an example, MHP has a high reliability practice for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICC lines) and Centrally Inserted IV lines. We have maintained a zero infection rate for more than five years by utilizing training, observation, checklists and a small group of insertion experts; we have also kept our patients safe from PICC line infections.”
Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit www.mahaskahealth.org.