Hospital cleanliness under fire

ST THOMAS St ThomasElgin General Hospital president Paul Collins is apologetic after a former patient went public on national TV with claims his stay at STEGH was unsanitary

You really wouldnt believe it unless youve seen it city resident Ken Hough said on the program broadcast this week

Hough said he saw dirty bandages and needle covers littering the floor and feces on the back of his toilet during his stay earlier this month

I put on rubber gloves to use the toilet seat and just thought no Im not doing this he said

Hough could not be reached by the TimesJournal for further comment

Collins said the incident is not reflective of STEGH standards

First I would apologize for his experience Its obviously difficult when the patient is in the hospital and worrying about cleanliness and so thats not a standard at least the standard he describes is not a standard that we want to maintain at all Collins said adding STEGH has been in contact with Hough since the report was broadcast

The cleanliness is obviously something that is important to people in their homes and they expect that same level if not better when they come to the hospital

Collins said I do want to say that the staff in the case of Mr Hough were very concerned and disappointed about Mr Hough the experience that he had

However both the nursing staff and our housekeeping staff are very dedicated They work very very hard to address patients needs and weve very proud of the work that they do

Communications specialist Cathy Fox says STEGH employs 40 people on its housekeeping staff in full and parttime positions

All are STEGH employees with the exception of one a housekeeping manager employed by private cleaning company Sodexo Canada

One housekeeper is responsible for each floor with two in the operating room During the day shift there are 20 on hand eight for the afternoon shift and one during the evening shift

Since 2006 the hospital has carried out a hand hygiene audit a system where staff who dont wash their hands are reported by their coworkers

Visitors to the hospital are also asked to clean their hands upon entering and exiting the facility as well as before and after contact with a patient

Asked how a situation like the one Hough described could exist Collins said there are elements in the case that make it tougher to maintain the level of cleanliness

Collins said he couldnt elaborate due to patient confidentiality

STEGH had a 026 infection rate the rate of patients in hospital who develop a clostridium difficile infection from Jan 1 2011 to Dec 31 2011 which is lower than the current provincial score rate per 1000 patient days of 034

Date : 31 Mar, 2012
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