St. James Parish Hospital

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged all Louisiana hospitals and healthcare facilities in patient care, employee training, and infection control protocols.

St. James Parish Hospital became a leader in preventing COVID-19 hospital-acquired infections by examining existing infection control practices and strengthening them to prevent exposure.

The healthcare facility employed a two-pronged approach to COVID-19 infection control, focusing on the environment of care and staff workforce controls simultaneously. A newly-created Environment of Care team designed a new entry and patient flow in the Emergency Department as well as updating patient flows in inpatient units. The EOC team also added extra HEPA filters and air scrubbers to the rooms for further filtering and protection.

The staff workforce team focused on the clinical aspect of the facility’s infection control plan through bundled care, PPE training and observations, and patient identification methods. The team also monitored the health of all staff members.

The results were clear. St. James patients, visitors, and staff members did not experience any COVID-19 HAIs during the first wave once the new infection controls were implemented.

As the pandemic rages on, those infection controls have stood the test of time, helping to protect the Lutcher community and beyond.

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