Patient Information

Reduce the Risk of Infection

Hoag’s first priority is the safety of patients, staff and visitors. Hoag follows guidelines and recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health for monitoring and prevention of hospital-acquired infections.

Hospital-Acquired Infection Versus Community-Acquired Infection

A community-acquired infection is an infection contracted outside of a health care setting or an infection present on admission. Hospital-acquired infections (HAI), also known as healthcare–associated infections, are infections that do not originate from a patient's original admitting diagnosis or are not present on admission. Most infections that become clinically evident after 48-72 hours of hospitalization are considered hospital-acquired.

MRSA Screening Program

Hoag actively enforces a strict screening program to prevent the spread of contagious infections. All patients are screened for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a micro-organism commonly found on the skin or in the nose, on admission to the hospital if they meet specific criteria that puts them in a high-risk category. These categories include adult inpatient medical and surgical patients, and infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

The test is done with a small sterile swab, similar to a Q-tip. A swab is taken in the inside of the nose.

For more information, download the patient information sheet.

When a patient is in isolation:

  • A sign will be placed on the outside of the hospital door to alert staff and visitors of the required precautions to take.
  • Hospital staff will wear protective gear, such as gloves, gowns and masks when entering the room to provide care.
  • Visitors should follow the directions on the signs and wear the appropriate protective items while in the patient’s room .
  • If gowns, gloves and/or masks are worn in a patient’s room, they must be removed before leaving the room.

Everyone, including visitors must clean their hands before leaving the room. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash hands for at least 15 seconds while scrubbing briskly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands. Remind your visitors to do the same.
  • Remind staff to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before examining you or giving you medication.
  • Each patient room is equipped with sinks for hand washing and alcohol hand sanitizer dispensers.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Always keep disposable tissue near by.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after coughing or sneezing.
  • Practice good personal hygiene and let your nurse know if your gown or linens are soiled.
  • Ask friends and relatives who have colds, respiratory symptoms or other contagious illnesses not to visit you or anyone in the hospital.
  • Get vaccinated if it is recommended. Flu and pneumonia vaccines can help prevent illnesses, particularly in young, elderly and high-risk patients.
  • If you are coughing, have respiratory symptoms and must come to the hospital for treatment or services, please wear one of the masks provided at the entrances and limit your time in the hospital to only the essential areas required.

More information on ways to reduce your risk of infection

Hoag is committed to educating patients and involving them in their health care. The guides below provide answers to common questions on how to prevent the spread of common infections as well as how to care for yourself or a loved one with an infection.

Prevent illness and infection by cleaning hands

When washing hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and use soap. Warm water is best, if possible.
  • Thoroughly rub all surfaces of the hands.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds.
  • Rinse hands thoroughly under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer.
  • If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door when exiting the restroom.
  • Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Apply product to the palm of one hand
  • Rub hands together
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry