We’re all in this Together

By Wolf Klassen, VP Program Support

As I walk around the halls of our hospital, connecting with many of you, I’m continually impressed by your commitment to keeping our hospital safe for patients and staff. A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to shadow Anna O’Shaughnessy, Infection Control Supervisor and Biljana Tasevski, Environmental Cleaner. I was very impressed with their attention to detail and commitment to keeping the hospital safe and clean.
Imagine for a moment your elderly mother or grandmother. Imagine they had to be admitted to hospital. I know you would do whatever it takes to make sure they are kept safe and leave us healthier than when they were admitted. But sometimes this doesn’t happen. Sometimes, but not often, the people who come here for help – including your loved ones, get sicker in our care. They’re sicker partially because they contracted an infection like C.difficile.
Clostridium difficile or C.difficile or simply “C.diff” is a bacteria that, among other things, causes mild to severe diarrhea. When you’re already sick and your immune system is compromised, contracting C.diff can be deadly. For most of us reading this, we’re not at high risk for contracting C.diff, but that’s a different story for our elderly parents or grandparents in hospital. At all times, there are patients who have C.diff in our hospital. Most of these patients acquired C.diff in the community. Our job is to make sure that transmission to other patients does not occur.
As you’re all aware, our patients and their families are our priority. We each do what we do every day because we’re committed to working with our patients and providing them with the best care possible.
We have a strong culture of safety at our hospital.
In order to provide the very best care, we must collectively roll up our sleeves and commit to regular handwashing. Just as important, we need to all be mindful of how our actions are impacting the safety of our patients: clean all patient equipment before it touches another patient, ensure isolation signage is in place and that all staff who come into contact with a patient diagnosed with C.diff are taking the proper precautions.
Again, imagine your mom or grandfather.
We’re all in this together. And we all have a role to play in keeping our hospital safe for your mom, grandparent or elderly neighbour.
We are always looking at new ways to protect patients from C.diff. Over the next little while, we’re meeting with experts from both inside and outside our hospital to try new approaches.
I would like to make a pledge that I will do my part to ensure the safety of our patients. Will you join me and take that pledge too? As we head into the fall – and soon, the Flu season – we will need to be even more vigilant.
So let’s start today.
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think @WolfKlassen.

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