New program as easy as 1-2-3

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Simple steps like hand washing help prevent infection, but too often overwhelmed caregivers forget, says Pediatric Home Service (PHS).

In February, the pediatric respiratory and infusion provider launched "1-2-3 Infection Free!" to help parents and other caregivers prevent IV catheter infections--a costly and dangerous problem.

"We were finding that hospital readmission rates were greater than what we felt they should be," said Michael Ruhs, director of marketing and sales. "Our nurses were finding un-sterile and unsafe conditions in the home when they would go out to do their regular visits. That puts the child at risk for infection."

Parents receive kits containing infection control information, including a poster illustrating steps for preventing infection; an IV catheter log describing the warning signs of common IV infections; and an emergency contact card that instructs the parent on when to call 911, the doctor or PHS.

"A lot of times we find that parents just don't understand how important it is to keep the environment sterile so you don't introduce infection," said Ruhs.

Parents aren't the only ones who don't follow protocol. Busy medical professionals can slip up and parents may be afraid to speak up, says Ruhs.

"We want to make sure parents understand that you have to advocate for your child," he said.