Infection Control

Infection Prevention and Control

At St. Anne Centre, preventing and controlling the spread of infections is an important part of safety.  Residents are at increased risk of getting infections by virtue of their age, immune status and other health conditions.

We believe that Infection Prevention and Control is everyone’s responsibility.  We gather input from residents/families/staff and volunteers when making policies and procedures.

We seek out advice from experts about best practices to prevent and control infections that may arise.  We consult and collaborate with external partners such as Infection Prevention and Control Nova Scotia,  the Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness and Nova Scotia Public Health.

Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.  Virus’ can live on a surface for several hours which is why cleaning and disinfection provided by Housekeeping Services is crucial.

Vaccination is another primary way of preventing some infections.  Residents are offered influenza, pneumococcal and COVID vaccinations.  We strongly recommend that all St Anne Centre staff receive yearly influenza/COVID vaccination.  The higher percentage of residents/staff/volunteers and family members that are vaccinated for, the more protected the residents are.

We ask that anyone who is ill, stay away from St Anne Centre until their symptoms have been resolved for at least 48 hours.  If this is not observed, then they run the risk of spreading their infection to others.  There are signs at the entrance to remind you of this.

Many residents receive food brought in by family members.  This provides variety and an opportunity for them to enjoy their cultural foods.  Food can cause gastrointestinal illness (e.g. salmonella) if it is not prepared/cooked and stored correctly.  Please make sure that proper food handling practices are followed, and bring the food to the dietary department for proper storage.

Infections like MRSA and C. difficile  can cause serious illness and in some cases, death.  The misuse and/or overuse of antibiotics are the reason for these infections developing.  At St. Anne Centre, we have policies, procedures and education in place for staff to help prevent and/or manage a resident with these infections.  Staff and family members who provide direct care are instructed how to put on and take off personal protective equipment which will reduce the risk of them acquiring one of these infections.

St. Anne Centre has a Pandemic Plan to ensure that all staff have the knowledge, skills and resources to respond to resident care needs as best as possible with expected staff shortages should this occur.

Our nursing home monitors infections and we take note of changes that are out of the norm.  Tracking the rate of infections helps us detect clusters of ill residents, detect outbreaks and gives a picture of the effectiveness of our infection prevention and control practices.  An analysis of infection rates sometimes leads to a change in practice with the goal of reducing the number of infections. We maintain an infection control bulletin board to keep residents, families, visitors and staff informed on important information.