Infection Prevention and Control

Infection Prevention and Control

Protecting Patient Safety at Sidra Medicine

One of our key clinical priorities is to protect our patients, visitors and staff from the risk of healthcare-associated infections caused by bacteria (germs). This is in accordance with the requirements of the Qatar's Ministry of Public Health Our staff are trained in good hand hygiene and how to prevent infection, and we have a zero-tolerance approach to poor hand hygiene and failure to adopt best practices. We also encourage patients to help us keep our hospital clean. We actively track and tackle healthcare-associated infections, which are infections acquired in hospital or as a result of treatment.

Our Infection Prevention and Control Team

Sidra Medicine has a fully staffed Infection Prevention and Control team that is dedicated to the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections in a supportive environment and ensures that all infection prevention and control practices are based on sound scientific principles. We promote local ownership of infection prevention and control to ensure that it is embedded at all levels within the organization. Having links with the Ministry of Public Health and other healthcare providers across Qatar allows the team to keep up-to-date with local infection control issues and strategies to combat these. The Infection Prevention and Control Committee, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, provides a forum for multidisciplinary input which fosters cooperation and information sharing.

What Is Sidra Medicine Doing To Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections?

All staff at Sidra Medicine have regular training on infection prevention and control. We carry out regular audits to check that staff adhere to the hand hygiene policy and the results are shared with all the staff and senior management. All our staff, including senior managers, nurses and doctors, are committed to protecting patients from infection and concentrating on the following areas:

  • hand hygiene
  • Multidrug Resistant Organism (MDRO) screening
  • environmental cleanliness
  • prudent antibiotic use
  • intravenous line care

Hand Hygiene

The best way to prevent infection from spreading is good hand hygiene. At Sidra Medicine, there are hand-washing sinks and alcohol-based hand rub in each patient’s room. Patients and visitors should use these facilities to clean their hands. If you find a soap or alcohol-based hand rub dispenser empty, please tell a member of staff.

  • Staff members are asked to clean their hands with liquid soap and water or alcohol gel before and after they come into contact with patients and their environment, regardless of whether or not the patients have infections.
  • There are posters around the hospital to remind staff, patients and visitors how to clean their hands properly.
  • If you are worried about staff members forgetting to wash their hands, please do remind them to do so.

Screening for Multidrug Resistant Organisms

We risk assess patients who might be carrying Multidrug Resistant Organisms (MDRO) on their admission to hospital. Those identified as high risk will have swabs taken. Those who are found to carry these organisms are cared for under infection control precautions in order to prevent transmission to other patients and to protect them from developing infection.

Environmental Cleaning

  • Keeping the environment clean is very important for patient safety.
  • Housekeeping staff members receive training in infection prevention and control.
  • Senior nurses, cleaning contractors, Infection Prevention and Control team and others regularly check that hospital equipment and the environment are clean.
  • The latest technology in room decontamination (i.e. Bioquell Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour system) will be used to clean rooms occupied by patients with certain infections when they are discharged.
  • Patients and visitors can help maintain a clean environment by limiting personal items they bring to the hospital. Patient rooms should also remain clutter free at all times to allow housekeeping staff easy access to surfaces so they can adequately clean.

Prudent Antibiotic Use

Antibiotics are drugs that kill the bacteria that cause infections and save many patients lives as a result. But germs, such as MRSA, have become resistant to antibiotics and the chance of resistance is greater when more antibiotics are used. Inappropriate use of antibiotics has led to the worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance. We have an antimicrobial stewardship program in place. The Medical Director - Antimicrobial Stewardship works closely with physicians and antimicrobial pharmacist(s) to develop antibiotic guidelines and monitor the use of antibiotics.

Intravenous Line Care

Some patients may have intravenous lines inserted to get fluids or medications into their systems. These lines may allow bacteria to enter their body. Clinical staff receive training on how to care for these devices.

Patient & Visitors

Infections can be introduced and spread by patients and visitors in the hospital. The following steps are key:

  • Patients and visitors must not bring pets into the hospital.
  • Any patients and visitors with symptoms of infection such as new rash, cough, fever and diarrhea and/ or vomiting should not visit the hospital. Visitors are requested to contact the unit before they visit if they have any symptoms of illness or have been in contact with someone with an infectious condition such as chickenpox or measles so that they may be given advice about visiting.
  • No flowers are allowed in any critical care areas.
  • No flowers or accessories must be left in corridors on the units. Any flowers brought in for the patient must all be kept in their room. We strongly recommend that a flower oasis is used instead of open vases. In the event that an open vase is brought in, the water must be changed regularly and the vases kept clean.
  • Where patients and their escorts choose to use their own bed linen, these items must be changed daily and sent home for laundry. Clean linen must be used every day.
  • No furniture is allowed to be brought into the patient’s room from home. Any furniture used in the patient’s room needs to be decontaminated using cleaning and disinfection products recommended by the Infection Prevention and Control team.
  • Patients and visitors must ensure that any personal items brought into hospital are taken home on discharge. During a patient’s stay, their relatives will be asked to take some personal belongings home to ensure the patient’s room remains clutter free.

Who Can I Contact With Queries & Concerns?

If you have any concerns or would like more information, please contact the Unit Manager of the area you, your child or relative are being treated in.