Safety at Children’s
To keep our patients, partners and employees safe, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota requires that all staff, contractors and partners, including interpreters, always follow these strict safety precautions.
Hand hygiene — Foam in and Foam out
Hand hygiene is the first line of defense for infection control. Be sure to clean your hands:
- Before entering a patient room/environment
- Upon leaving a patient room/environment
- When moving from “soiled” to “clean”
- Before performing an invasive procedure, even if gloves will be worn
- Before and after eating
- After using the restroom
Hand hygiene methods include:
- Foam in and foam out — Use an alcohol-based hand rub for decontaminating hands during routine interactions, such as entering or leaving a patient’s room.
- Wash hands with soap and water — Wash hands with soap and water if they are visibly soiled or if potentially contaminated with blood or body fluids. Also wash hands after 10-15 uses of alcohol-based hand rub to remove emollient buildup.
Standard precautions are infection prevention practices that apply to all patient care, in any setting where healthcare is delivered. Standard precautions include wearing:
- Appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from splash/spray of blood or other potentially infectious body fluids
- Masks with eye protection, gloves and gowns if risk of splash/spray is indicated
Use contact precautions in the care of patients known or suspected to have a serious illness easily transmitted by direct patient contact or by indirect contact with items in the patient’s environment. If it’s messy, icky, or unknown — contact precautions are appropriate. For example, we use contact precautions when a patient has:
- Known or suspected multiple drug resistant organism (MDRO) infection or colonization (MRSA, VRE, ESBL)
- Uncontained drainage from a wound
- Uncontained diarrhea/stool from patient with acute gastric illness
- RSV, conjunctivitis, scabies, lice, etc.
- Wearing gloves every time you enter the room
- Wearing a gown for contact with patient or environment
- Removing barriers
- Performing hand hygiene immediately upon leaving room
- Cleaning/disinfecting anything handled while in the room
- Equipment like stethoscopes
- Pagers, hand held devices, etc.
Droplet precautions are used when a patient (or any member of the patient’s family) is coughing. Basically, if they’re coughing and you don’t know why, droplet precautions apply. Droplet precautions are important to stop the spread of illnesses such as:
- Invasive meningococcal disease
- B. pertussis
- Streptococcal pharyngitis, pneumonia or scarlet fever in infants and young children
- Parvovirus B19 (if in aplastic crisis or is immunocompromised with chronic infection)
If you are around a coughing patient:
- Wear a surgical mask and eye protection when within three feet of coughing patient
- Keep coughing family members in the room and ask them to wear masks when out of the room.