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J Infect Public Health ; 14(4): 454-460, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1056924


BACKGROUND: During the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hospitals have strengthened their guidelines on infection prevention and control (IPC), and a rigorous adherence to these guidelines is crucial. An infection control surveillance-working group (ICS-WG) and infection control coordinators (ICCs) team were created to monitor the IPC practices of the healthcare workers (HCWs) in a regional hospital in Korea. This study analyzed the surveillance results and aimed to identify what IPC practices needed improvement. METHODS: During phase 1 (March to April 2020), the ICS-WG performed random audits, recorded incidences of improper IPC practices, and provided advice to the violators. During phase 2 (April to July), the ICCs inspected the hospital units and proposed practical ideas about IPC. The surveillance and proposals targeted the following practices: patient screening, usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand and respiratory hygiene, equipment reprocessing, environmental cleaning, management of medical waste, and social distancing. RESULTS: In phase 1, of the 127 violations observed, most (32.3%) corresponded to hand and respiratory hygiene. In phase 2, the highest proportion of violation per category was observed in the management of medical waste (37.8%); among these, a higher proportion of violation (71.4%) was observed in the collection of medical waste. Of the 106 proposals made by the ICCs, the most addressed practice was patient screening (28.3%). No case of nosocomial infection was reported during the study period. CONCLUSION: Adherence to proper hand and respiratory hygiene was inadequate at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicate that more attention and further training are needed for the management of medical waste, particularly medical waste collection, and that continuous upgrading of the strategies for patient screening is essential. These results will be useful in helping other healthcare facilities to establish their IPC strategies.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Infection Control , Clinical Audit , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Pandemics , Republic of Korea