Everyone plays an important part in infection prevention. Unfortunately, there are germs inside and outside of the healthcare setting that can spread in different ways. Patients, families, and healthcare professionals can work together to stay healthy. You can start by cleaning your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer, asking about vaccines, becoming familiar with healthcare-associated infections, and asking questions when you go into any healthcare facility. Don’t be shy about speaking up for your care.
Outside the healthcare setting you can help avoid an infection from one of your closest companions, your cell phone. Never take your phone into the restroom and be sure to wipe your phone with an alcohol-based wipe periodically. Be sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and do not place your phone on surfaces such as bus seats or restroom floors. And, as always, clean your hands and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Don’t forget that coming up is a week dedicated to raising awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is the week of October 16-22. There will also be a Twitter chat hosted by AHA and APIC on October 17 at 2 p.m. EDT so be sure to join the conversation by using the hashtag #IIPWChat. The focus will be on this year’s IIPW theme, learning how to “Break the Chain of Infection.” You can also check out the “Break the Chain of Infection” podcast here.