There is now no doubt that Lisa Young’s enthusiasm for infection prevention and control (IPAC) is contagious.
And now her efforts to protect the health of patients and paramedics have been recognized as she became the first ever BCEHS employee to be voted the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council’s ‘Everyday Champion.'
"This provincial recognition is very well-deserved," said Jan Butler, Corporate Director of Quality, Risk Management and Accreditation with BCEHS. "Lisa's work to adapt hospital-based infection prevention and control best practises to the emergency patient care setting has resonated with staff because of her passion, her tireless research and her ability to listen and learn what works best for our front-line staff."
Hand hygiene and audits are the backbone of any IPAC program. One in 10 patients will acquire an infection during their health care journey – a journey that often begins with emergency health services. Lisa helped develop best practices for emergency services infection prevention and control. She developed education and auditing strategies that resonated with front-line staff and focussed on patients and disease transmission principles.
Rene Bernklau, BCEHS Provincial Coordinator of Hazardous Substance and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive events, knows first hand, how far Lisa's infection prevention and control practices can reach: about 7,600 km southwest of BC to the Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, a remote string of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Rene was volunteering there and upon arrival, discovered that a pink eye epidemic had taken over the community. Rene worked with the local health care teams to bring in gloves, goggles and ointment and then imparting the emergency medicine infection prevention and control principles Lisa has drilled into him at BCEHS.
"I taught them how to wash their hands, use hand rub, treat pink eye and protect themselves from further contamination," Bernklau said. "So somewhere in the mid-Pacific Ocean, Lisa's knowledge reigns."
As the 2017 Everyday Champion, Lisa receives complementary registration to Quality Forum 2017, which includes presentations and interactive workshops on a variety of topics related to improving quality across the continuum of care. She will be presented with her award at the Health Talks event at the forum as well as $2,500 to help support her work.