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Preventing the Spread of C. difficile: Part 2

26 Dec 2016

By: Amy Stokes, MSN RN, Professional Development Specialist

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Work continues to decrease the potential for spreading C. difficile, with Jan. 10 as the go-live date for new components of this improvement work. 

On Jan. 10 a new sign titled “Contact Plus Precautions” will be posted outside rooms of patients with suspected/confirmed C. difficile. The sign explains what personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn, along with required hand hygiene steps before entering and leaving the patient’s room.  As a reminder, gowns and gloves must be worn even if you are just going in to ask a question. After removing the PPE in the room, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.

Secondly, patient education on C. difficile is essential in preventing the spread while the patient is hospitalized and once discharged.  To provide consistent education, RNs are to print the patient education brochure from the Peggy Lillis Foundation, soon to be found in Epic under “Forms”, and provide 1:1 patient education.  All patient education is to be documented in the “Education” section of Epic: click on “Add Title”, and type in c-diff to document the required education.

A new standard work outlining the process for ambulating patients on Contact Precautions has been developed. Patients with suspected or confirmed C. difficile, should NOT be ambulated outside the room until diarrhea-free for 72 hours.  To support the rehabilitation process, Inpatient Rehab follows different procedures in this situation.

To help identify patients with possible C. difficile in a timely manner, RNs will use a new algorithm recently tested on NTCU and Med/Surg (3W). By identifying suspected cases of C. difficile more rapidly, contact precautions and patient treatment can begin sooner.

Hospital staff and licensed independent practitioners will receive HealthStream assignments with further information regarding these changes.

Thank you for all you do to keep our patients safe.