Infection Prevention & Control

Infection prevention and control practices are essential for maintaining a safe environment for patients and visitors. Our Infection Control Service provides and is accountable for quality in infection control. We are responsible for:

  • Surveying incidence and reducing the risk of preventable infections.
  • Preventing infection transmission within MGH and the community for the well-being of patients, healthcare workers and visitors.
  • Educating hospital staff that it is their responsibility to practice infection prevention and control.
  • Managing outbreaks when they occur.
  • Ensuring policies and procedures reflect the most current standards.
  • Fulfilling our role in a manner that demonstrates our core values: kindness, excellence and respect.

Good hand washing is the most important infection control practice

  • You should always wash your hands after using the toilet, after touching dirty surfaces, before preparing food and before eating. 
  • Use the alcohol-based hand rub that is provided in the hospital. Make sure that you have enough product on your hands to ensure that they remain wet for 15 seconds while you rub your hands together.
  • If your hands are visibly soiled, lather using soap and water and spend at least 15 seconds washing hands. Rinse hands thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Turn off the taps using the paper towel. 
  • Spend at least 15 seconds lathering and washing hands.
  • Apply lotion several times throughout the day to help prevent dry, cracked skin.


Hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent infections in healthcare settings like hospitals and clinics. That’s because 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. In Canada, healthcare-associated infections affect more than 220,000 people every year, and kill 8,000 to 10,000 people.

Clean hands are essential in preventing the transmission of infections.

What exactly is good hand hygiene? It means thoroughly cleaning your hands with soap and water (when hands are visibly soiled) or alcohol-based hand rub frequently throughout the day. This is especially important before eating, after using the washroom and after sneezing or coughing. Please use the hand sanitizer mounted on the wall either outside patient rooms or just inside the door frequently when visiting our hospital.

By practicing good hand hygiene throughout Michael Garron Hospital, we can ensure that we aren’t spreading disease.


Respiratory infections, such as the flu, spread easily by coughing and sneezing. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you can, use your forearm to block your cough. If you cough into your hands, you must wash your hands immediately so that your hands do not transmit germs to surfaces or people you may be in contact with.

If you have a respiratory illness, you may be asked to wear a mask to prevent the spread of germs. Your healthcare provider may also be required to wear a mask, gloves and gown.


Upon your admission or during your stay in the hospital, you may be identified by your doctor, nurse or by infection control staff as having a condition or illness that requires additional precautions.

If this occurs, you will need to stay in your room, but you may continue to have visitors. You, your visitors and your care providers will be required to follow instructions specified by your doctor, nurse and infection control staff.

Special signs will be posted on the doorframe outside your room with instructions for “All Persons Entering Your Room”.

If you have questions about your care while in additional precautions, ask your nurse and doctor. You can also ask to see a member of our Infection Prevention and Control Service.


Examples of isolation signs seen at Michael Garron Hospital


Our Infection Prevention and Control specialists contribute to knowledge in this sector by publishing papers in scientific and medical journals.

To see articles written by Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Director, click here.


For further information on Infection Prevention and Control, please browse the links below:

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