St. Helena

Infection Prevention

​Hand hygiene is the easiest and most effective way to prevent infection, even those that are becoming resistant to antibiotics and are difficult to treat. There are two methods of hand hygiene: using alcohol-based sanitizer and washing with soap and water. At Adventist Health St. Helena, we audit our healthcare workers hand hygiene compliance on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of our patients.

To prevent surgical site infections, Adventist Health St. Helena follows best practice by using several chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) products, which have been shown to significantly decrease surgical site infections, both before and after surgery.

At Adventist Health St. Helena , we have a multidisciplinary team led by pharmacy that focuses on antimicrobial stewardship. This team works on processes to improve and measure the appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient outcomes, reduce microbial resistance and transmission of infections caused by multidrug resistant organisms (MDROS).

Some specific MDROs are:

  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
  • Extended-spectrum Beta lactamases (ESBLs)
  • Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  • Candida auris (C. auris)

Clostridium difficile, most commonly referred to as C. diff, is a bacterium that infects humans. C. diff is often caused by the use of antibiotics. The most common symptom of C. diff is diarrhea. SHNV uses a C diff bundle in our electronic health record (EHR) that helps with early recognition, early isolation and early treatment of Clostridium difficile.

To prevent device associated infections, there is a daily assessment of the need for urinary catheters and central lines. The purpose being, the less time these devices are in place is significantly correlated with fewer infections related to these devices. These are discussed each shift at nursing patient safety huddles and during rounding on the medical units with physicians.

More information on infection prevention.