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Patients and Visitors

Infection Prevention

Saint Thomas Health is committed to the prevention of infection in all patients, visitors, and healthcare workers.

If you have questions regarding Infection Prevention and Control, talk to one of your healthcare providers.

Measures to Prevent the Spread of Infection

Hand Hygiene
Hand HygieneHand Hygiene is the primary way to prevent the spread of any infection. Two methods of hand hygiene include:
  1. Soap, Friction & Water: Rub hands together for 15 seconds, rinse and dry with a clean paper towel.
  2. Waterless Alcohol Hand Rubs: Waterless alcohol hand rub is provided throughout the facility for use. To use the hand rub, apply an amount of gel or foam that will adequately cover all surfaces of your hands including palms, fingers and wrist areas and let them dry.
Did Your Healthcare Worker Perform Hand Hygiene
Ask your healthcare provider if they performed hand hygiene before and after providing care to you. All healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene before and after any patient care activities. If they do not, it is ok to remind them of the importance of frequent hand hygiene.

Cover Your Cough and Sneeze
Hand WashingTo prevent the spread of respiratory illness, you should:
  1. Always cover your cough or sneeze with tissues and dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow but not your hands.
  2. Put on a mask if needed.
  3. Perform hand hygiene using soap and water or an alcohol hand rub after touching respiratory secretions or contaminated tissues.
Saint Thomas Health has Cough and Sneeze stations in select public locations readily available for use.

Standard Precautions
Standard Precautions are used with ALL patients when providing patient care. You may see your healthcare workers wearing gloves, gowns, masks, or protective eyewear to protect them from blood or body fluid exposure. Hand Hygiene should always be performed after removing these items.

Isolation Precautions
Isolation Precautions are used when patients have a disease that may be spread to others. When a patient is on isolation precautions, a sign will be posted on the door indicating the type of precautions and any protective equipment that is needed before entering the room. You should perform hand hygiene before you enter and then remove your equipment before leaving the room followed by hand hygiene.