Apollo Hospitals has had a robust infection control program for many years because we recognize that the control and prevention of infection in our patients and the staff who care for them, is an absolute moral commitment and responsibility. Therefore, each hospital in the Apollo Group has a comprehensive infection prevention and control program. The Infection Control program covers policies on hand hygiene, occupational health, isolation, infectious diseases notification, clinical sample collection, environmental hygiene, antibiotic usage and infection prevention in practice settings and visitor areas. It also focuses on prevention of nosocomial infections especially ventilator associated infection, surgical site infections, UTI and Intravascular device related infections and also on control of communicable diseases by policies on patient care related activities. The policies and guidelines laid down are evidence based on current scientific knowledge and recommendations from National and International societies and organizations. The Infection Control program is supported by information management in relation to microbial surveillance and notifiable diseases. Guidelines for periodic audits are also provided so that evaluation and quality control is undertaken. The overall aim of the Program is to guide doctors and health care workers on minimizing patients' infection risk and ensuring safety.
Standard or Universal Precautions to ensure safety of healthcare workers
Practice of Universal and Standard Precautions, are stringently followed. Orientation and teaching/training programs are carried out at the time of induction and on a regular basis for all employees on Standard Precautions and also on key Infection control norms such as Hand Hygiene practices. Our Staff health policy ensures that all staff is vaccinated or has immunity to Hepatitis B and Varicella. Screening and appropriate vaccination of food handlers is also done.
Hand Hygiene Initiative
Safe water supply in all patient care areas for hand washing and alcohol based hand rubs at all patient beds are ensured and vigilant observational audits are performed periodically to ensure high compliance to hand hygiene at patient care areas.
Use of Clinical practice guidelines and protocols
Guidelines are followed for usage and care of intravascular devices, catheters and in the usage of other such invasive devices. Care of equipment, linen disinfection, air conditioning for operating rooms and CCUs as well as management of blood spills and needle stick injuries is done according to International protocols. We also have an established waste management policy and lab safety program.
Management of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms – the antibiotic stewardship program
With advent of newer antibiotics there has been a progressive rise in the incidence of antibiotic resistance. While antibiotic resistance is a worldwide phenomenon, the nature of antibiotic resistance varies widely from country to country. Even though this is an undesirable and inevitable trend, recognizing, curtailing and managing this is an important aspect of the Infection control program at Apollo Hospitals. We have been following an Antibiotic Stewardship program wherein antibiotic prescription, dosage and appropriateness are strictly monitored and rationalized and resistant organisms identified, tracked and followed up meticulously. We also have stringent guidelines on antibiotic use and procedures on monitoring antibiotic use, as well as protocols for isolation of those affected with such organisms.
Communicable disease identification and prevention of spread is outlined, and so are isolation protocols and procedures and barrier nursing.
Environmental monitoring of Operating rooms, Critical care units and other patient care areas is done through air sampling. Additionally, disinfection and sterilization processes are monitored, drinking water and dialysis water analysis is done and food safety standards and guidelines are laid down and followed.
We have a visitation protocol and all visitors are alerted on infection control practices through guidelines written on visitor passes.
Tracking Infection control data>
Each of the hospitals in the Apollo group tracks infection control parameters month after month and these are benchmarked with standards and variations and values are thoroughly analyzed. Periodically clinical studies on infection control, pathogens and other related areas are also carried out .All infection control parameters are tracked as part of the ACE 25 CLINICAL EXCELLENCE initiative of Apollo hospitals where key Quality parameters of each hospital in the Apollo group are entered on an Online Dashboard, scored and reviewed by the highest Leadership of the group each month.
The responsibility of Infection Control at the Apollo Hospitals falls into the hands of a Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC), whose primary duty is formulating and implementing policies to effectively manage infection control issues and outbreaks of infection. The HICC comprises of senior leaders, physicians and administrators in the organization thereby emphasizing the highest importance that the organization places on Infection Control. Every Apollo location also has an Infection control Team headed by the Senior consultant in Infectious diseases. The team consists of Infection control nurses and other key staff from various departments who play a pivotal role in implementing all aspects of the hospitals Infection Control program, drive all the Infection control initiatives , motivate and create awareness among the hospital staff by campaigns and special programs and sustain compliance. Infection control is a critical and key initiative in every Apollo hospital and it not only helps us in meeting international norms in Infection control but also assures excellent world class clinical outcomes and exceptional patient safety and satisfaction.
Policies and Guidelines that are part of the Apollo Infection Control Program>
- Patient Safety policy.
- Antimicrobial policy guidelines.
- Provision of resources for hand hygiene and practices and protocols related to it..
- Staff health and safety guidelines.
- Disinfection and sterilization policy.
- Surveillance activity for Catheter Related Blood Stream Infections(CR-BSI), Hospital associated pneumonia including Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) and indwelling catheter related Urinary Tract Infections (CR-UTI) and for Surgical Site Infections(SSI).
- Guidelines for monitoring of Disinfectants.
- Protocol for Sterile Supply and CSSD including Bacteriological monitoring of Autoclaves, Ethylene Oxide etct.
- Protocol for Management of needle-stick injury, accidental inoculation and percutaneous mucus membrane exposure to blood and body fluid substances.
- Screening guidelines for food handlers.
- Bacteriological analysis of Drinking water.
- Bacteriological analysis of Dialysis water.
- Policy for the restricted antimicrobials and their usage.
- Environmental Cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
- Endoscopes and bronchoscopes- usage and care.
- Indwelling medical device usage and care.
- Management of spills of body fluids, blood and Microbiology cultures.
- Guidelines Protocols for Linen and Laundry.
- Dialysis protocols.
- All relevant engineering processes including mechanical, HVAC of OT, ICU and other critical areas and patient and staff areas.
- Food and Beverages' processes and hygienic kitchen management.
- Protocols for Care of patients with communicable diseases.
- Protocols for Care of bleeding patients.
- Isolation policy and procedures and Barrier Nursing with special reference to multi drug resistant organisms and highly virulent organisms.
- Management of Emerging community based communicable diseases and specific recommendation for cases of epidemics and disasters in the community.
- Guidelines for Protection of immuno-suppressed and Immunocompromised patients.
- Protocols for Provision and appropriate usage of personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns, masks, goggles/visors etc. in prevention and control of infections.
- Guidelines for antimicrobial prophylaxis.
- Waste management policy and procedures on discarding and disposal of hospital waste including sharps and needles.
- Mortuary management guidelines and handling of cadavers.
- Visitor's and attendant's protocols.