As a highlight of National Hospital Week, which commenced on August 11, the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) announced the launch of the country’s very first “Hospital Best Practices in Infection Prevention and Control” awards to recognize and further encourage the safety and quality of service practiced by public and public hospitals across the nation.
The announcement was made by PHA president, Dr. Ruben Flores, who is also the director of Fabella Hospital. He explained, “The award is anchored on three objectives: to elevate every hospital’s awareness level on the importance of infection control and prevention of healthcare-associated infections; to ensure that hospitals and other healthcare facilities are properly implementing infection prevention and control practices in their respective institutions; and, to encourage every hospital to maintain the highest standards in the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections.”
He emphasized that by implementing such practices in health care facilities, the incidents of hospital associated infections (HAIs), which result to prolonged hospital stay, treatment and expenses, both on the side of the patient and the institution itself will be minimized. More significantly, it will help control the spread of Multidrug-Resistant Organisms (MDROs), which are bacteria that have become resistant to certain antibiotics, and ultimately prevent preventable deaths.
“While this advocacy is very important, its implementation is what will significantly make a difference overall,” Dr. Flores added. “And so I am grateful to United Laboratories, Inc. and the Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society lead by its founder Dr. Melecia A. Velmonte, helping the PHA make this first ‘Best Practices’ award possible.”
Two key elements
Ever since the global campaign on hand hygiene was launched in 2009, many have become aware of the benefits the single habit can bring. Done in the right way, hand washing or hand rub can reduce the spread of potentially life-threatening infections particularly in health-care facilities. But hand hygiene is only one step. There are more procedures in preventing and controlling infections in the hospital setting, where each of them should be followed and implemented for everybody’s benefit.
“Many hospitals in the Philippines have set the bar of excellence in hospital care, particularly in the area of infection prevention and control, which, as any healthcare professional would know, are the two key elements to delivering the highest level of quality service and safety to patients,” added Dr. Flores.
An infection prevention and control program however will only be effective if it is practiced by the hospital’s top management, all the way down to lowest level of health care workers.
According to the doctor, it is a standard procedure for most hospitals to schedule regular general and thorough cleaning of clinical areas to prevent or minimize healthcare associated infections (HCAI). In one hospital, for instance, it takes two weeks to thoroughly clean an intensive care unit to ensure that the unit is sanitized properly and completely.
“We are hoping that the annual awards will institutionalize the practice of infection prevention and control such as this,” he continued.
To vie for the Hospital Best Practices in Infection Prevention and Control Awards, member hospitals of the PHA, which number to just under 2,000, need to download an application form found at the websites of the following institutions: PHA, Private Hospital Association of the Philippines Inc., Philippine College of Hospital Administrators, and Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society. Interested participants may also get in touch with the Association of Hospital Administrators through e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the form, submit a 1,000-word (or less) essay on how your hospital practices the principles of prevention and control of infections along with photos for visual support. The institution may cite example/s that happened between January 2010 to present and how it was sustained. It is also crucial for participating facilities to ensure that they are able to include the data on their infection control rate parameters based on their surveillance activities.
Other than the overall winner, two runners-up will also be selected for Level 3, 2, 1, and other healthcare facilities category. Five special awards will also be given, namely: Best in Hand Hygiene; Best in Environmental Cleaning and Decontamination; Best in Management of Infection Prevention among Healthcare Workers; Best in Healthcare Waste-Management; and Best in Isolation Precaution Management.
For more information, call the PHA Secretariat at (632) 922-7674 to 75 or email email@example.com.