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Infection-Control Strategies at Leading Hospital Can be Adapted for Everyday Use
Date:11/26/2009

NEW YORK, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- With cold and flu season upon us, it's more important than ever to employ good practices to control the spread of infections and avoid illness.

"We need to be proactive not only to keep ourselves healthy, but to avoid transmitting illness if we're sick," said Eileen Finerty, RN, MS, CIC (certified in infection-control), nursing director for infection control and occupational health at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan.

Hospital for Special Surgery has one of the lowest infection rates of any hospital in the country and was recently commended by the New York State Department of Health for its low infection rate in patients undergoing hip replacement. The overall infection rate refers to all infections acquired by patients in the hospital, not only viruses such as those that cause the flu.

Infection control in the health care setting is critical. Nationwide, hospital-acquired infections result in 100,000 deaths each year.

"We emphasize infection control as a best practice," said Thomas P. Sculco, M.D., surgeon-in-chief at HSS, "and strive to maintain it at every level of patient care from washing hands to a clean and safe environment for our patients in the operating room and the entire hospital."

HSS employs a combination of infection-control measures, according to Ms. Finerty. Some are highly sophisticated and others are basic good practices.

Strategies used by the hospital to keep germs in check can be adapted for use at home and in everyday life, according to Ms. Finerty. These practices include:

1 - Good hand hygiene using sanitizers.

Hospital: Hand sanitizers located all around the hospital have a sensor that dispenses foam without the need to touch it. The sensor detects hand motion and automatically releases foam.

What everyone can do: Sanitize hands frequently using an alcohol-based liquid hand clea
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