Letter to Niagara Health System re: C. difficile outbreak
Sue Matthews RN, DPH
Interim Presidents and CEO
Niagara Health System
Donna Rothwell, RN, BScN
Chief Nursing & Professional Practice Officer
Health Program Director, SCG Site &Maternal Child
Niagara Health System
Dear Sue and Donna,
We know we speak on behalf of all RNAO members when we say how much we admire and are inspired by the nurses in the Niagara Health System. Please share this letter and, with this, our warmest thoughts and best wishes to our Niagara colleagues.
On Friday, August 5th, 2011 Niagara Region Public Health confirmed the Welland C. difficile outbreak was over. St. Catharine’s General and the Greater General Niagara Site, however, are still in outbreak status. RNAO knows the tremendous stress outbreaks generate, not only for patients and their families, but also for nurses and the interprofessional staff, who cannot retreat but must fully engage every employee, visitor and patient in a system-wide infection prevention and control strategy. We are confident this outbreak will be over in short order as we have heard from both front line nurses and nursing administrators how best practices are consistently being implemented at NHS and how appropriate expertise and resources are being deployed. Furthermore, the action plan created to address these outbreaks is highly strategic and sustainable; reducing the threat of this occurring again.
We know every nurse will continue providing the top-notch care you have provided without fail for years. Your knowledge, skill and clinical judgment are being pushed to new limits, but most certainly you are making a difference; whether in comforting family members who experience reduced visiting hours, carefully donning and doffing additional personal protective equipment, educating more visitors on the importance of hand hygiene, expertly identifying symptoms of C. difficile or preventing further outbreaks by monitoring antibiotic usage. NHS nurses are creating lessons learned and new knowledge that will be shared with colleagues in acute care once these outbreaks are over. We at RNAO are immensely proud of your leadership!
RNAO congratulates the NHS nursing team for consistently implementing best practices and creating safer health care services. We see your inspiring strength and perseverance and we know you are making a real difference for the communities of Niagara Region every day.
With warm regards,
Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), O.ONT.
Executive Director, RNAO
David McNeil, RN, BScN, MHA, CHE