Patient Safety at Lifespan Hospitals
What YOU Can Do
Learn how to
prevent most hospital-associated infections
Hand Washing 101:
The goal of Lifespan's affiliated hospitals is for patients to have a
safe, healthy and infection-free hospital experience. This is promoted
by the expert care provided by Lifespan's professional staff in
cooperation with patients.
All hospital employees—physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians
(EMTs), paramedics, and food service and maintenance workers
alike—adhere to a pro-active program that has decreased patients' risks
to infections. Patients are considered vital members of our
infection-free team: upon being admitted to the hospital all patients
are advised on effective methods of avoiding infection so that they have
the best chance for a successful and healthful hospital stay.
Additionally, Lifespan's medical faculty is engaged in researching the
causes of infections and how to effectively control them; they
participate and publish findings in national and international health
care forums and medical journals.
Highlights of specific programs, procedures and research in infection
prevention and control at Lifespan's hospitals include:
Aggressive hand hygiene program
Lifespan hospitals have an aggressive program to promote
handwashing. This program has resulted in the reduction of MRSA
(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE
(vancomycin-resistant enterococci) infections.
Special antiseptics for bathing patients
Patients are bathed using chlorhexidine, a chemical antiseptic,
in the general medical wards and in the intensive care units,
which has resulted in a proven record of reducing risks of
Flu vaccinations for staff
A system-wide influenza and H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination program
for staff is an on-going effort to keep them healthy and
immunized and to further safeguard against the spread of the flu
viruses among staff, visitors and patients.
Catheter reduction program
A quality improvement effort throughout Lifespan's hospitals has
significantly improved the care of patients with central venous
catheters, which has led to a significant decrease in
catheter-associated bloodstream infections among Lifespan's
Published research on MRSA and other antibiotic resistant
A recent national study led and authored by Leonard A. Mermel,
DO at Rhode Island Hospital has revealed that hospitals can
effectively reduce the incidents of methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterial infection highly
resistant to some antibiotics, by practicing active surveillance
and screening. The Miriam Hospital was also involved in the
study, which was co-authored by Miriam physician John Lonks, MD.
more about the study
Published guidelines to prevent hospital-associated
Mermel is also the co-author of guidelines with regard to the
prevention and management of intravascular catheter infections.
He has lectured nationally and internationally on other
infectious diseases and leads research on epidemiology and
prevention of health care-associated infections.
Software that tracks infections in the hospital
Lifespan's hospitals have been pioneers in the use and
development of TheraDoc, infection control software that
collects vital data regarding patients and possible infections,
an essential component in the efficacy of infection control and
prevention programs throughout Lifespan's hospitals.
We encourage you to visit this website for regular updates on
hospital-wide efforts in infection control and submit
questions or concerns you may have. Additionally, links to
published articles authored and presented by Lifespan medical personnel
on infection reduction and control will be posted here.