INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL UNIT
IPCU BRIEF DESCRIPTION/ HISTORY of the UNIT
The importance of an Infection Control Committee in healthcare facilities first gained recognition in our country about two decades ago. This led the Office of Hospital Facility Services and Regulations of the Department of Health to issue a Memorandum/Administrative Order requiring health care facilities to establish their Infection Control Committee (ICC). In September 26, 1996, the revised rules and regulation governing registration and licensing of hospitals reiterated the need to create vital committees, one of which was the Infection Control Committee (ICC).
In July 2000, Western Visayas Medical Center Chief, Dr. Jose Mari C. Fermin, issued a memorandum order designating Dr. Maximo Nadala as Chairman of an Infection Control Committee to be established. After two years, memorandum order no. 62 was issued to reorganize the committee, this time chaired by Dr. Wilfredo Polido. Almost all departments in the hospital had a representative in the ICC.
During the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic in 2003, no known treatment was available. Strict adherence to infection control guidelines, policies and procedures was the only recognized effective method to prevent and control the global spread of this most dreaded disease. SARS preparedness was assessed in hospitals, based on recommended infection prevention and control guidelines. This was done through the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the leadership of the Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society (PHICS) as well as Philippine Infection Control Nurses Association (PHICNA). Findings revealed deficiencies in knowledge, practice and policy compliance among healthcare providers. WHO and DOH realized the need to strengthen Infection Control programs nationwide to enhance preparedness of healthcare workers in order to respond to threats of outbreaks of highly transmissible infectious diseases and more importantly, prevent and reduce occurrence of healthcare- associated infections among patients.
To facilitate a better functioning ICC, Mrs. Eloisa S. Penado was officially designated as WVMC’s Infection Control Nurse in 2003. After three years, memorandum order no. 156 s. 2006 was issued designating Mrs. Cheryl A. Duenas as Infection Control Nurse. She underwent a series of trainings and seminars related to Infection Control. Dr. Monica Asuncion Nafarrete, a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, became Infection Control Chairman in January 9, 2007 with memorandum order no. 06 s. 2006. In line with monitoring and surveillance activities, Mrs. Mercy Catedral, was designated Infection Control Clerk on April 1, 2009 with memorandum order no. 141 s. 2009. Chairmanship was turned over to Dr. Felice G. Molina, an Internist and Infectious Disease Specialist on December 4, 2009 with memorandum order no. 159 s. 2009.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) remain vital in the life of a healthcare facility. Its crucial role cannot be overly emphasized especially in a referral DOH- retained hospital like the WVMC. Quality and safe patient care are priority despite resource limitations. IPC touches practically every aspect of healthcare in both clinical and nonclinical areas. Its importance was echoed by no less than Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto- Garin who issued Administrative Order 2016-0002: National Policy on Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare Facilities. It is also one particular area always evaluated for ISO certification, accreditation by PHILHEALTH and the different specialty training programs for physicians as well as monitoring by the likes of the WHO and the DOH, among others.
In recognition of the scope, function and growing responsibilities of the Infection Control Committee, Medical Center Chief II, Dr. Joseph Dean L. Nicolo approved the request to make the Committee a Unit. Thus, emerged the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Unit (IPCU) on April 6, 2017.
As a Unit, the IPCU now has the potential for more administrative support particularly where budget and manpower appropriations are concerned, to keep abreast with the expanding demands relevant to its mandate.
On its maiden year as a unit and with Dr. Felice G. Molina still at the helm, WVMC’s IPCU accomplished two very important undertakings:
- Training on Infection Prevention and Control in Healthcare Facilities
on September 20 to 22, 2017. This was the IPCU’s first joint training venture with the Department of Health Region 6, particularly the office of Dr. Nacanaynay, the Region’s Program Coordinator for Infectious Disease. The Core Team was involved from planning to implementation, including being resource persons and activity facilitators.
- Landmark official launching of the Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS)
Program on December 11, 2018, focusing two important measures namely, antimicrobial pre-authorization and automatic 7th day stop. The AMS Committee is under the auspices of IPCU, chaired by Dr. Maria Luna Y. Parreño and co-chaired by Dr. Felice G. Molina.
A government hospital in the region with the least incidence of healthcare-associated infections transmitted among patients, healthcare workers and other stakeholders.
The WVMC Infection Control Committee is committed to deliver quality care through observance of health practices that promote prevention and control of infection transmission.
- To conduct trainings and educational activities on the importance of infection control and prevention in the hospital setting
- To recognize and initiate modifications in the work environment that would promote health and safety of patients, healthcare workers and other stakeholders
- To develop an effective feedback mechanism in reporting unusual occurrence of communicable diseases
- To advocate hand hygiene and proper cough etiquette as a way of life
- To observe the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- To observe appropriate isolation precautions for different communicable diseases
- To encourage strict compliance with proper waste segregation
- Training/ Demonstration and Return-demonstration on Hand Hygiene, Donning and Doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospital personnel
- Respirator Fit Testing for hospital personnel
- Lectures on Infection Prevention and Control
- Provide recommendations on infection prevention and control measures through administrative controls, workplace practices, environment controls and proper use of PPEs
- Facilitate conduct of Water Microbiological Test and provision of recommendations based on results
- Facilitate conduct of Environmental Culture and provision of recommendations based on results
- Monitoring of implementation and compliance to Infection Prevention and Control policies and guidelines through C-H-A-R-T-S
- Monitoring of Device and Surgical Site Infection
- Infectious Disease Case/ Outbreak Investigation
- Release of COVID-19 RT PCR results
- Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society (PHICS)
- Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID)
- Basic Competency Training for Infection Control Nurses
UPCOMING EVENTS and ACTIVITIES
- C-H-A-R-T-S(unannounced) audit visits to selected hospital areas
- Annual celebration of Global Hand Washing Day every 15th day of October
- Annual celebration of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week every 4th week of November