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Strengthening Our Standards: Infection Control and HIV Management at HealthServ Los Baños Medical Center

Introduction
Infection control and prevention are critical aspects of maintaining a safe and healthy environment within healthcare institutions. At HealthServ Los Baños Medical Center, we understand the importance of continuous education and training for our staff to uphold the highest standards of patient care. On July 9, 2024, we conducted a lecture for new employees as part of our commitment to excellence and in celebration of National Infection Prevention Week, themed “Together We Stand Against HAI: Protecting Everyone!”

The Importance of Infection Control
Infection control is a fundamental component of healthcare, designed to prevent the spread of infections within hospitals and other healthcare settings. It is especially crucial in today’s environment, where healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) pose a significant threat to patient safety. HAIs can lead to prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and, in severe cases, mortality. Therefore, infection control measures are essential to protect both patients and healthcare workers from potential harm.

Session Overview

The lecture featured two primary topics presented by experts in the field:

  1. Infection Prevention and Control Updates by Jeniffer Panizales, ICN
  2. HIV Management in the Workplace by Dr. Maria Luisa Maranan, IDS

A total of 25 participants from clinical and non-clinical areas attended the session, demonstrating our comprehensive approach to training across all departments.
Infection Prevention and Control Updates


Jeniffer Panizales, our Infection Control Nurse (ICN), delivered an informative session on the latest updates in infection prevention and control. Her presentation covered various aspects, including:

  1. Hand Hygiene: The cornerstone of infection prevention. Proper handwashing techniques and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers were emphasized as primary defenses against the spread of infections.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The correct use of PPE, such as gloves, masks, gowns, and face shields, was discussed. Jeniffer highlighted the importance of donning and doffing PPE correctly to avoid contamination.
  3. Environmental Cleaning: Effective cleaning and disinfection protocols for hospital environments were reviewed to ensure all surfaces and equipment are free from harmful pathogens.
  4. Antibiotic Stewardship: The responsible use of antibiotics to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was another key point. Jeniffer stressed the importance of adhering to prescribed antibiotic regimens.
  5. Surveillance and Reporting: The necessity of monitoring infection rates and promptly reporting any outbreaks or unusual patterns to the infection control team.

These updates are vital in ensuring that our staff remains informed about the latest best practices and can effectively implement them in their daily routines.

HIV Management in the Workplace

Dr. Maria Luisa Maranan, an Infectious Disease Specialist, provided a comprehensive overview of HIV management in the workplace. Her session focused on several critical areas:

  1. Understanding HIV: A brief overview of HIV, its transmission modes, and the importance of early detection and treatment.
  2. Stigma and Discrimination: Addressing the stigma associated with HIV and promoting a supportive and inclusive workplace environment. Dr. Maranan emphasized the importance of treating individuals with HIV with respect and dignity.
  3. Prevention Strategies: Educating employees on preventive measures, such as safe sex practices and the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk individuals.
  4. Workplace Policies: Developing and implementing workplace policies that support employees living with HIV, including confidentiality, non-discrimination, and reasonable accommodations.
  5. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): Guidelines for the use of PEP in case of potential exposure to HIV, such as needlestick injuries or exposure to bodily fluids.

Dr. Maranan’s session highlighted the importance of creating a safe and supportive work environment for all employees, regardless of their HIV status.

Tips for Avoiding and Managing Allergies

  1. Avoiding Allergies:
    Stay Indoors During High Pollution Times: Avoid going out during heavy traffic or industrial activity.
    Keep Indoor Air Clean: Use air purifiers and keep windows closed during high pollution periods.
    Regular Cleaning: Clean your home regularly to reduce dust and mold.
    Avoid Known Triggers: Stay away from specific allergens like pet dander, certain foods, or medications that have caused reactions before.
  2. Managing Allergies:
    Use Antihistamines: Take over-the-counter antihistamines for mild symptoms.
    Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help alleviate symptoms.
    Keep Emergency Medication: Always have an epinephrine auto-injector if prescribed for severe allergies.
    Consult a Doctor: Seek medical advice for persistent or severe allergic reactions.

National Infection Prevention Week
Celebrating National Infection Prevention Week under the theme “Together We Stand Against HAI: Protecting Everyone!” underscores the collective responsibility we all share in preventing infections. By staying informed and vigilant, we can significantly reduce the risk of HAIs and ensure a safer environment for patients and healthcare workers alike.

Conclusion
At HealthServ Los Baños Medical Center, our dedication to infection control and patient safety is unwavering. Continuous education and training are vital in maintaining our high standards and ensuring the well-being of our patients and staff. The lecture on Infection Prevention and Control Updates and HIV Management in the Workplace reflects our commitment to excellence and our proactive approach to healthcare.

As we celebrate National Infection Prevention Week, let us all remember the importance of infection control and the role each of us plays in safeguarding our health and the health of those around us. Together, we can stand strong against HAIs and continue to provide the highest quality of care to our community.

Magandang HealthServ na Araw! 🌟