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Patient Infection Rates Controlled by Unique Program at Outpatient Cancer Clinic
Date:3/17/2009

s been perceived and how effective it is," Casper said.

The next superbug - MRSA isn't the only bacterial infection that haunts hospitals and clinics. Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) is transmitted through stool. Bathrooms must be kept immaculate, especially after use by infected patients. How to know when to call in housekeeping and preserve the dignity of patients? Inside each bathroom is a card that the user can hang on the outside handle; clinic staff can see the card and arrange for cleaning right away. The method empowers patients to take control, according to Casper.

Did you remember to wash your hands? - Once a quarter bright orange cards are placed inside patient exam rooms. The cards are a survey for patients to fill out - and for care providers to take notice of - asking whether the doctor or nurse washed their hands before and after their interactions with the patient. The unique survey debuted in January 2008. Hand-washing rates rose from 80 percent "before and after" to about 97 percent. Washing hands after seeing a patient increased from about 70 percent to about 95 percent.

About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, established in 1998, unites the adult and pediatric cancer-care services of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. A major focus of SCCA is to speed the transfer of new diagnostic and treatment techniques from the research setting to the patient bedside while providing premier, patient-focused cancer care. Patients who come to SCCA receive the latest research-based cancer therapies as well as cutting-edge treatments for a number of non-malignant diseases under development by its partner organizations. SCCA has three clinical-care sites: an outpatient clinic on the Fred Hutchinson campus, a pediatric-inpatient unit at Children's and an adult-inpatient unit a
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SOURCE Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
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