The goal of the Infection Control Department is to identify and reduce the risks of acquiring and transmitting infections among patients, staff, and visitors in the Cottage Health System. The Department coordinates a program for infection surveillance, prevention, and control for all CHS facilities.
Because this program is multidisciplinary, all CHS departments participate and work closely with the Cottage's Employee Health and Safety Department and Santa Barbara County Health Care Services.
The department consists of a medical director who is an infectious disease specialist; a full-time registered nurse (RN), trained and certified in infection control; and a part-time RN, trained and certified in infection control.
The department's role is to:
- Identify and reduce the risks of acquiring and transmitting infection within Cottage Health System
- Establish and monitor infection control practices to meet federal, state, and local regulations in addition to guidelines established by leaders in the field of infection control and epidemiology
- Conduct ongoing surveillance Review, analyze, and report infection control data
- Promote preventive and corrective measures for patients, staff, and visitorsConsult with all departments on infection control matters
- Provide education and educational resources to CHS staff and the greater Santa Barbara community.
- Work closely with state and county public health agencies to report communicable disease occurrences and disseminate information that is of public health significance.
Our customers are all of Cottage's patients, from newborn to geriatric age groups. The scope and complexity of their needs varies throughout the continuum of care. The focus is on patients who are at risk of developing healthcare-associated infections and those patients who are admitted with or develop a communicable disease or infection.
In addition, we serve all employees, volunteers, physicians, resident staff, clinical and ancillary departments, the Employee Health and Safety Department, the Department of Health, and members of the community, providing education and assistance with infection control policies and procedures.
An active infection control liaison program supports the department. A group of 28 staff members (primarily RNs), representing all nursing units and select clinical departments at all Cottage facilities, participate in the infection control program by assisting with surveillance, education, and the reporting of infections. The Microbiology Department also provides strong support for reporting, data retrieval, and analysis.