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  • 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 hospital infections.
    • 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 patients.
    • Published research on MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria
      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.
      Read more about the study
    • Published guidelines to prevent hospital-associated infections
      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.