Lessons Learned from an International Infection Control Consultation in a Newly Built Hospital in Saudi Arabia
Chami E, and Keskimaki A. Lessons Learned from an International Infection Control Consultation in a Newly Built Hospital in Saudi Arabia. Am J Infect Control 2019; 47(6):S11-S12.
Am J Infect Control
BACKGROUND: A small team, consisting of a Infection Prevention/Accreditation Manager and an Infection Prevention Specialist were assigned to assist in consulting abroad with the commissioning of a new hospital in Saudi Arabia. The hospital was built from the ground up and staff had no experience with Infection Control Standards. METHODS: To provide the best guidance possible, the team traveled to Saudi Arabia to work with local staff. Time was spent touring the construction site, reviewing blueprints and providing recommendations for best practices for both construction and room layouts. Education/recommendations were provided to the C-Suite Leadership to target gaps. Simultaneously, the team was working on interviewing potential candidates for the Infection Prevention role, as well as working to build up their program by drafting policies and plans. The partnership continued from afar, with weekly calls to the team in Saudi Arabia. RESULTS: It was challenging to get all C-Suite leadership to understand the importance and urgency of Infection Control recommendations that were provide by the team. There were many recommendations that could result in delays in opening the hospital, which led to resistance from leadership. There were many challenges with construction companies and their knowledge and training, as well as with different requirements between our two countries. Recommendations were made for cleaning, environmental testing, and sign-off before occupancy in order to provide staff/employees with assurance and safety. CONCLUSIONS: After a few years of work, we saw success but were also met with challenges. The importance of involvement with Infection Control from the early stages was crucial. Since we could not be on-site during the duration of the project, the selection of the right IP for daily work was an imperative link. Not all recommendations were followed leading up to staggered opening. Immediate attention was called to this for correction and remediation.