Infection Prevention is Everyone's Business

Hand Hygiene is job one Clean your hands often, and request that others do the same. Germs reside on many surfaces in the hospital, including bed rails, stethoscopes, faucets and even the television remote. It is important to wash and sanitize your hands frequently. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth using a tissue or your sleeve. Don't be afraid to ask anyone entering your room if they've washed or sanitized their hands before entering.

Don't contribute to the clutter Limit personal items and reduce clutter to ease the critical job of cleaning your hospital room. Keep personal items off the floor and away from waste containers.

Clean your over-the-bed tray Your over-the-bed tray should be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day. Feel free to ask hospital employees to repeat this process anytime before eating.

Never use a dirty pillow Notify a hospital staff member immediately if your pillow falls on the floor or becomes soiled.

Visitor etiquette To keep your environment as clean as possible, visitors should not sit on your bed or handle your equipment. To avoid the transfer of germs, request that everyone wash or sanitize their hands when both entering and leaving your room. Guests should not visit if they are sick or have had any symptoms within the last three days, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, uncontrolled cough or rash.

Take your slippers off To prevent germs on the floor from contaminating your bed, remove your slippers, socks or "footies" before putting your feet on or in your bed.

Patient bathrooms Patient bathrooms are strictly for patients only. Visitors should use common bathrooms in the hallways.

Meet the hospital's infection preventionist Patients often see many healthcare workers, but they don't usually see those who work behind the scenes to ensure the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. To contact the infection preventionist at Olean General Hospital, call 716/375-6159, or at Bradford Regional Medical Center, call 814/362-8626.