- Healthcare facilities are places for patients to seek care to improve their health, not acquire an infection as a consequence of their hospital stay or procedure. Central Maine Healthcare follows the necessary protocols to provide a safe environment for staff, patients and visitors.
- Infection prevention is promoted through education about hand hygiene, the importance of vaccinations and proper use of antibiotics.
- Our infection prevention team provides support so staff can identify someone with an infectious disease and quickly institute precautions. Each CMH facility has dedicated rooms, disinfection supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) that help prevent the spread of disease.
What It Means
Infection prevention is the practice of identifying any risks of contamination and following set processes to prevent potential harm to staff, patients and visitors. The World Health Organization reports 1 in 10 patients acquire a healthcare-related infection. CMH infection prevention teams are trained to minimize the spread of infectious disease and are accessible to every department to serve as consultants to healthcare personnel.
At CMH, we follow a set of standardized ratings to determine whether patients meet the criteria for an infection during their hospital stays. We also use a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored national database called the National Health Safety Network. The database calculates a number called a standardized infection ratio based on the type of hospital, risk of patient, number of patients cared for and other risk indicators. The publicly available number demonstrates how well our hospital compares with others locally and around the country.
We monitor all:
- Bloodstream infections related to central lines
- Clostridiodes difficile (C. diff) infections
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections
- Surgical site infections
- Urinary tract infections related to indwelling catheters
- Ventilator-associated events
How Are We Doing?
CMH reports infection prevention results to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for our three locations:
Not only do hospital ratings provide patients the opportunity to compare hospitals, but they also hold us accountable for continual improvement.
CMH includes infection prevention in its core education for all staff from initial hire to annual trainings. Our staff receives annual supplemental education on topics such as hand hygiene, PPE compliance, isolation precautions, specific disease processes, equipment disinfection and resistant microorganisms.
CMH strives to provide the highest quality patient care. Patients can trust their safety is our top concern. We have made it our goals to:
- Reach 90% compliance in the area of hand hygiene
- Institute initiatives to prevent surgical site infections for colon surgery patients
- Keep staff updated about new and emerging information about COVID-19 and follow set policies to prevent spread of infection
Bringing Perspective to Infection Prevention
Joanne Kenny-Lynch, M.S., M(ASCP), CIC, system director of infection prevention, has been a practicing infection preventionist since 1992 and joined CMH in 2018. She helps oversee infection prevention at CMMC, Rumford Hospital, Bridgton Hospital, all CMH outpatient practice locations and Maine Urgent Care facilities. She also has a consultative role with Bolster Heights Residential Care and Rumford Community Home. She is proud to play a role in promoting infection prevention at CMH facilities.
“I’d like to say I have helped give my team a voice and shown how important infection prevention is,” Kenny-Lynch says. “Our team actively participates in all aspects of patient care, from room cleaning to providing guidance on new construction and renovations performed at the facilities. We play a part in every single department in our center, because in some way, everyone comes in contact with a patient. While we are not seen in the forefront as patient caregivers, the positive impact of our role in patient care at CMH is huge.”