NEW YORK—November 17, 2009
With cold and flu season upon us, it’s more important than ever to employ good practices to control the spread of infections and avoid illness.
"We need to be proactive not only to keep ourselves healthy, but to avoid transmitting illness if we’re sick," said Eileen Finerty, RN, MS, CIC (certified in infection-control), nursing director for infection control and occupational health at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan.
Hospital for Special Surgery has one of the lowest infection rates of any hospital in the country and was recently commended by the New York State Department of Health for its low infection rate in patients undergoing hip replacement. The overall infection rate refers to all infections acquired by patients in the hospital, not only viruses such as those that cause the flu.
Infection control in the health care setting is critical. Nationwide, hospital-acquired infections result in 100,000 deaths each year.
"We emphasize infection control as a best practice," said Thomas P. Sculco, M.D., surgeon–in-chief at HSS, "and strive to maintain it at every level of patient care - from washing hands to providing a clean and safe environment for our patients in the operating room and the entire hospital."
HSS employs a combination of infection-control measures, according to Ms. Finerty. Some are highly sophisticated and others are basic good practices.
Strategies used by the hospital to keep germs in check can be adapted for use at home and in everyday life, according to Ms. Finerty. These practices include:
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.