Infection Prevention and Control

Effective date: August 1, 2018

Relevant Legislation:

Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7

Intent:

LOFT aims to establish a prevention and control program that is designed to identify and address health care issues within our programs in order to reduce and mitigate the incidence of infection and disease outbreak.  Further details will be outlined in individual program manuals.

Definitions:

Not applicable

Policy:

Program Requirements:

1)  The program shall consult on an on-going basis as required with the Public Health designate about identifying and addressing health care issues in the program in order to reduce the incidence of infectious disease outbreaks

2)  The program shall keep a record of the consultation required in client files as per client documentation policy

3)  The program shall ensure that:

(a)      If an infectious disease outbreak occurs in the home, the outbreak is reported to the local Public Health or designate and the program defers to the officer or designate, as the case may be, for assistance and consultation as appropriate

(b)      If there is an increase in the number of symptomatic residents in the program, the increase is reported immediately to the local Public Health or designate

4)  The program shall ensure that each resident and the resident’s substitute decision-maker, visitors, families, and partnering organizations  are given information about how to reduce the incidence of infectious disease, including the need for and the method of maintaining proper hand hygiene and the need for and process of reporting infectious illness.

5)  The program shall ensure that waterless, alcohol-based hand sanitizer or another form of hand sanitation that provides the equivalent protection against infectious disease transmission is available for use by residents and staff in communal resident areas and in the staff work areas.

6)  Each resident, each member of the staff of the program, and each volunteer receive information about the advantages of an annual influenza vaccination and where the vaccination is available

7)  The program shall ensure that each staff member who works in the program receives training on how to reduce the incidence of infectious disease transmission, including:

(a)     The need for and the method of maintaining proper hand hygiene and method of preventing cross contamination, including proper handling of soiled linens, the protection of uniforms and the separation of clean and dirty items; and

(b)     The need for and process of reporting, providing surveillance of and documenting incidents of infectious illness

Components of an Infection Prevention and Control Program:

The infection control program at each site should include the following elements:

  1. Infection control policies and procedures
  2. Surveillance of infections
  3. A system to detect, investigate infections and control outbreaks
  4. A system to notify the Local Public Health Unit of reportable diseases
  5. A system for the initiation of precautions
  6. Continuing education in infection prevention and control

Additional Infection Control Precautions:

1)   Routine Practices as well as Additional Precautions (AP) will be implemented for certain pathogens or clinical presentation.  These precautions are directed on the mode of transmission of the suspected/known organism or disease and must be instituted as soon as symptoms are identified of an infection, not only when the diagnosis is confirmed.

2)   Education of staff, volunteers, residents, families and visitors is important in the initiation of Additional Precautions.  Educational information (both written and verbal) regarding the reasons for the precautions and the specific procedures to be followed should be provided.

3)   Appropriate measures shall be taken depending on the risk for transmission.  These measures include Contact Precautions, Droplet Precautions and Airborne Precautions.

4)   Additional Precautions includes:

  1. signage specifying the precautions needed, but protecting their confidentiality;
  2. appropriate PPE;
  3. equipment dedicated to the resident;
  4. additional cleaning measures;
  5. Communication and education to staff, visitors, volunteers and residents.

5)   An outbreak may occur when an infectious illness exceeds the normal expectancy levels. Programs will set and follow guidelines intended to provide a practical approach to initial control, investigating and managing an outbreak.