Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Stop the Spread of Germs



Submitted by Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center


There have been many long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. One that remains top of mind for many is more established habits to prevent the spread of germs at home, at work and in the classroom. Those include handwashing, use of sanitizers and proper cough etiquette.

But those commonsense health practices are even more vital in a healthcare setting. Infection prevention, control, and safety are about more than just manners. These practices are critical to successful patient outcomes. At Mississippi Valley Surgery Center (MVSC), the area’s largest outpatient surgery center, there’s a compassionate care team that is continuously striving to give patients the best experience with a high-level commitment to quality care and patient safety.

Infection Prevention in Healthcare

At MVSC, located in Davenport, infection prevention is an ongoing process that includes observation, investigation, and prevention measures. Accredited surgery centers like MVSC meet or exceed an extensive set of infection prevention standards. That means surgery centers have an excellent track record of providing safe patient care, and as a result, surgery centers experience a very low infection rate.

The infection prevention policies are continually considered and updated to include best practices across the board for patients, employees, and medical professionals. These guidelines are based on recommendations from nationally recognized organizations and government agencies including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC), Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), and Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Following these guidelines ensures that patients are consistently provided with a safe and sanitary environment of care.

Patient safety is everyone’s job at MVSC. From the moment a patient walks into the surgery center, all employees have a responsibility to maintain a level of excellence in infection control. Standard precautions include but are not limited to:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Injection and medication safety
  • Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Reporting and documentation


Hand Hygiene

The same advice about handwashing in daily life applies in healthcare settings with some modifications. The CDC prefers the use of an alcohol-based hand rub over soap and water in most clinical settings before touching a patient, handling invasive medical devices, and after contact with blood or bodily fluids. Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette also both play a key role in stopping the spread of germs.


Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

Routine and targeted cleaning practices are established for all areas of the surgery center depending on the level of patient contact. Commonly touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected most frequently. Staff members also follow precise guidelines around proper use of cleaning products, making sure they’re properly applied and stored.


Injection and Medication Safety

Contamination prevention is important when preparing and administering medications. Safe injection practices revolve around a “one needle, one syringe, one use” policy. Before any medication or treatment is administered, patients are asked to identify themselves using both name and date of birth. This “patient identifier” process helps eliminate errors and enhances patient safety.


Use of Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment

The use of PPE is based on the nature of patient interaction and potential exposure to blood and bodily fluids. The use of gowns, masks, face shields, and gloves differs in exam rooms and surgical settings, but regardless of use, PPE is discarded after each patient.


Reporting and Documentation

Each surgeon is required to report monthly on surgical site infections and any complications their patients may have developed. This information is thoroughly reviewed and monitored for trends, to measure quality and performance, and identify opportunities for improvement.

If you’re considering surgery, talk to your doctor about your choices. Ultimately, knowing your options will lead you to an experience you’ll feel good about.


     For more personal hygiene tips, visit cdc.gov/hygiene/personal-hygiene. To learn more about Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, visit mvhealth.net or check out the Center’s Facebook page at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.



At-home Health Practices to Remember:

  • Wash your hands. Use warm water and lather with soap for at least 20 seconds, paying attention to the front and back of the hands, between your fingers, and under fingernails.
  • Avoid touching your face. Germs are often spread through contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and light switches.
  • Cover your mouth and nose by coughing or sneezing into the inside of your elbow, rather than your hands.
  • Consider wearing mask when in public or even at home if you have any respiratory symptoms.