Infection prevention and control

The Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) service is delivered by two infection control practitioners who work in close partnership with a physician advisor. As experts in their field, they are the organization’s definitive authority on infection prevention and control. They follow global and provincial best practice guidelines and provide direction to protect patients, their families, and healthcare workers from acquiring/transmitting infections. Their role is critical in the organization’s pursuit of becoming the safest and most effective hospital in Canada.

What is the team’s role?

  • Ensure best practices are followed for infection control (including policy development, training, auditing and monitoring);
  • Provide ongoing infection surveillance to ensure appropriate reporting and reduce the risk of transmission;
  • Work collaboratively with Waterloo Region Public Health to report all communicable disease outbreaks.
  • Provide direction to clinical staff and physicians on isolation precautions, as well as restrictions to admissions and visiting for the protection of patients.

What is your role?

As a patient or visitor to the hospital, it is critical that you follow any and all infection control directions that are in place. This can range from isolation precautions to limitations on visiting. Decisions about infection control measures are not made lightly – they are directed by the IPAC team to ensure the safety of all and to control further spread to our vulnerable patients. Infection Prevention and Control is everyone’s responsibility.

Please follow these steps to avoid getting and spreading infections in the hospital.

  • Do not visit someone in hospital if you are sick.
  • Adhere to all required isolation precautions such as the wearing of gowns and gloves.
  • Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand gel or warm soap and water (if visibly soiled). Clean your hands before you touch or eat food, after you use the bathroom, and when you leave your hospital room.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, then throw away the tissue and clean your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow and clean your hands.
  • Remind your visitors and care providers to clean their hands.
  • Keep your immunizations up to date and get the influenza vaccine every year.

How are we doing?

You can view our publicly reported indicators by clicking here.

Contacting the Infection Prevention & Control Team
For more information on infection prevention and control activities at St. Mary’s, please contact
Giovanna Zinken, Program Director
Infection Prevention and Control
519-749-6578 ext. 1518