Infection Prevention and Epidemiology

The Infection Prevention and Control Program at Memorial Healthcare System guides its activities and methods for preventing and controlling the transmission of infections within the hospital and between the hospital and other institutions and settings. We use the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), best practice and expert consensus for policies and procedures that apply to all staff and providers.

As part of Memorial Healthcare System's vision to provide high-quality and safe healthcare through quality, evidence-based practice, research, and education, the Infection Prevention (IP) team uses scientific and proven resources to increase patient safety and quality of care for all our patients, families, and staff. The IP team completes daily surveillance activities to detect potential healthcare-associated infections, assists with action plans in collaboration with leaders and unit-based partners to decrease risks involved with healthcare. IPs work closely with the Florida Department of Health and report communicable disease for the institutions.

Preventing infection is an important part of your healthcare. Patients and families can take steps to prevent infections by simply knowing infection prevention basics. Here are the top ten ways patients and families can prevent infection:

  1. Speak up for your care.
  2. Clean your hands often.
  3. Ask about safe injection practices.
  4. Ask to have your room cleaned.
  5. Ask questions about your medication.
  6. Ask if you should shower before having surgery and how to care for your surgical site after surgery.
  7. Ask each day if you still need a catheter.
  8. Ask about vaccinations so you stay healthy.
  9. Learn about what Infection Preventionists do.
  10. Learn about healthcare associated infections and how to prevent them.

WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene graphic

Hand hygiene (using either alcohol-based hand sanitizer/rub or washing with soap and water) is the most important measure to control the spread of infection. The most common mode of transmission of germs is via the hands and there is substantial evidence that hand hygiene reduces the incidence of infections. Patient hand washing is just as important as your healthcare provider.

Memorial utilizes trained observers to monitor staff hand hygiene performance in all areas of the healthcare system. We encourage all patients and staff to offer reminders to clean your hands. We are all here to protect our patients and colleagues. MHS Executive Leadership, Board, and the Medical Executive Committees are invested in promoting hand hygiene and the highest level of safety in healthcare.