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Infection Control

Infection Control at Apollo Hospitals

At Apollo Hospitals, we have always had a robust Infection Control program as we understand that prevention and control of infection in both patients and the staff who cares for them, is a responsibility and an absolute moral commitment. Therefore, each hospital in the Apollo Hospitals Group has a comprehensive Infection Prevention and Control program.

Infection Control program at Apollo Hospitals covers policies on hand hygiene, isolation, occupational health, notification on infectious diseases, clinical sample collection, infection prevention, antibiotic usage and environmental hygiene in visitor areas and practice settings. Our Infection Control program also focuses on prevention of nosocomial or hospital acquired infections, particularly surgical wound infections, ventilator-associated infections, UTI and intravascular device related infections including control of communicable diseases.

The policies and guidelines set down are evidence-based and reflect present scientific knowledge and recommendations from National and International organizations and societies.

Apollo Hospitals’ Infection Control program is ably supported by information management in relation to notifiable diseases and microbial surveillance. The program also provides guidelines for periodic audits in order to undertake evaluation and quality control.

The overall aim of the Program is to guide doctors and health care workers on minimizing patient’s infection risk and ensuring safety.

The salient features of the program are:

Tracking Infection control data

Each of the hospitals in the Apollo Hospitals group tracks infection control parameters month after month and these are benchmarked with standards and variations and the values are thoroughly analyzed. The publishing of infection rates signifies an ecosystem of transparency, meticulous capture of infection related data and thorough audit and analysis, with intent to improve.

Infection control data

Standard/Universal Precautions to ensure safety of health care workers

Universal and Standard Precautions practices are followed stringently. Teaching/training and orientation programs are conducted on a regular basis for all employees and at the time of induction on Standard Precautions and key Infection Control norms like Hand Hygiene practices. The Staff health policy at Apollo Hospitals ensures that all personnel are vaccinated or have immunity to Varicella and Hepatitis B. Food handlers are also screened on a regular basis and appropriate vaccination is also administered to them periodically.

Hand Hygiene Initiative

Apollo Hospitals ensures safe water supply in all patient care areas for hand washing and alcohol-based hand rubs are kept at all patient beds. All hospitals in Apollo Group conduct vigilant observational audits periodically to ensure high compliance to hand hygiene at patient care areas.

Use of Clinical practice guidelines and protocols

All our hospitals follow stringent guidelines for usage and care of catheters, intravascular devices, and in the usage of other invasive devices. We follow International protocols in care of equipment, air conditioning for CCUs and operating rooms, linen disinfection, including management of needle stick injuries and blood spills. We also have an established Lab safety program and Waste management policy.

Management of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms – the Antibiotic Stewardship program

Recent times have witnessed progressive rise in the incidence of antibiotic resistance due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics . Although antibiotic resistance is a global phenomenon, the nature of antibiotic resistance widely differs from one country to another. Recognizing, curtailing and managing Antibiotic resistance is an important aspect of the Infection control program at Apollo Hospitals. We have been following an Antibiotic Stewardship program wherein antibiotic prescription, dosage and appropriateness are strictly monitored and rationalized and resistant organisms identified, tracked and followed up meticulously. Apollo Hospitals also follows stringent guidelines on use of antibiotics and also procedures on monitoring use of antibiotics, including protocols for isolation of those affected with such organisms.

Isolation protocols

Identification and prevention of the spread of communicable disease is outlined, and so are the isolation protocols and procedures including barrier nursing.

Environmental sampling

Environmental monitoring of Critical Care Units and Operating rooms including other patient care areas is performed through air sampling. In addition, drinking water and dialysis water analysis is performed, sterilization and disinfection processes are monitored, and food safety standards and guidelines are laid down and followed.

Visitor Control

Apollo Hospitals has a visitation protocol. All visitors are alerted on infection control practices through guidelines mentioned on the visitor passes.

Policies and Guidelines of the Apollo Infection Control Program

  • Patient Safety policy
  • Antimicrobial policy guidelines
  • Provision of resources for hand hygiene and practices and protocols related to it
  • Staff health and safety guidelines
  • Disinfection and sterilization policy
  • Surveillance activity for Catheter Related Blood Stream Infections(CR-BSI), Hospital associated pneumonia including Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) and indwelling catheter related Urinary Tract Infections (CR-UTI) and for Surgical Site Infections(SSI)
  • Guidelines for monitoring of Disinfectants
  • Protocol for Sterile Supply and CSSD including Bacteriological monitoring of Autoclaves, Ethylene Oxide etc.
  • Protocol for Management of needle-stick injury, accidental inoculation and percutaneous mucus membrane exposure to blood and body fluid substances
  • Screening guidelines for food handlers
  • Bacteriological analysis of Drinking water
  • Bacteriological analysis of Dialysis water
  • Policy for the restricted antimicrobials and their usage
  • Environmental Cleaning and disinfection guidelines
  • Endoscopes and bronchoscopes – usage and care
  • Indwelling medical device usage and care
  • Management of spills of body fluids, blood and Microbiology cultures
  • Guidelines Protocols for Linen and Laundry
  • Dialysis protocols
  • All relevant engineering processes including mechanical, ICU, HVAC of OT and other critical areas as well as staff and patient areas
  • Food and Beverages processes and hygienic kitchen management
  • Protocols for Care of patients with communicable diseases
  • Protocols for Care of bleeding patients
  • Isolation policy and procedures and Barrier Nursing with special reference to multi drug resistant organisms and highly virulent organisms
  • Management of Emerging community based communicable diseases and specific recommendation for cases of epidemics and disasters in the community
  • Guidelines for protection of immuno-suppressed and Immunocompromised patients
  • Protocols for Provision and appropriate usage of personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns, masks, goggles/visors etc. in prevention and control of infections
  • Guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis
  • Waste management policy and procedures on discarding and disposal of hospital waste including sharps and needles
  • Mortuary management guidelines and handling of cadavers
  • Visitor’s and attendant’s protocols

The Team

The responsibility of Infection Control at the Apollo Hospitals falls into the hands of a Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC), whose primary duty is formulating and implementing policies to effectively manage infection control issues and outbreaks of infection. The HICC comprises of senior leaders, physicians and administrators in the organization thereby emphasizing the highest importance that the organization places on Infection Control.

Every Apollo Hospitals’ location has an Infection control team headed by the Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases. The team includes Infection Control Nurses as well as other key staff from numerous departments who play a key role in implementing all aspects of the hospitals’ Infection Control program, drive all Infection Control initiatives, create and motivate awareness among the hospital staff through special programs, campaigns and sustain compliance.

UPDATED ON 14/05/2024

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