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WCH Begins POP Program

By Staff | Feb 11, 2009

Quick, a POP Quiz-How long can cold or flu germs live on countertops, doorknobs, and other hard surfaces? If you answered 72 hours, you might be one of the many visitors to Wetzel County Hospital who have taken the Protect Our Patients (POP) quiz as part of a nationwide program to educate hospital visitors in the role they play in helping to prevent infections.

Upwards of 200 million people each year visit friends and family members in hospitals or accompany patients for emergency or outpatient treatment, these individuals can spread germs that may cause infection. However, if properly educated, these same visitors can help to prevent the spread of infection, both in the hospital and at home, and become advocates for healthy hygiene habits. Wetzel County Hospital recognizes the importance of preventing the spread of germs among patients while their immunity is lowered during recovery.

“Wetzel County Hospital has implemented many steps to minimize the risk of exposure to germs and disease,” said Jenny Abbott, R.N., Director of Infection Control. “In addition to hospital-wide cleaning, disinfecting, and surveillance practices, Wetzel County Hospital provides free hand disinfecting wipes near each public entrance as well as alcohol hand sanitizer dispensers in every patient room. Visiting is restricted to patients with contagious disease or infections. Single use products to prevent the spread of infections are utilized and the hospital continues to update equipment, policies, and practices to minimize the potential for exposure.”

The Protect Our Patients (POP) program, which is scheduled to begin at Wetzel County Hospital on Feb. 16, is sponsored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (AMC) was developed through a health education grant from The Clorox Company.

APIC’s mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes.

The association’s more than 11,000 members have primary responsibility for infection prevention, control, and hospital epidemiology in health care settings around the globe. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org.

Wetzel County Hospital is a licensed and accredited, 68-bed facility.