Holy Family Hospital

Infection Prevention

Holy Family Hospital and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley take an active role in preventing infection. We encourage our patients to do the same.  Avoiding contagious diseases like the common cold, strep throat, and the flu is important to everyone. Here are five easy things you can do to fight the spread of infection:

Clean your hands

  • Use soap and warm water. Rub your hands really well for at least 15 seconds. Rub your palms, fingernails, in between your fingers, and the backs of your hands.
  • Or, if your hands do not look dirty, clean them with alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Rub the sanitizer all over your hands, especially under your nails and between your fingers, until your hands are dry.
  • Clean your hands before touching or eating food. Clean them after you use the bathroom, take out the trash, change a diaper, visit someone who is ill, or play with a pet. 

Cover your mouth and nose

Many diseases are spread through sneezes and coughs. When you sneeze or cough, the germs can travel three feet or more! Cover your mouth and nose to prevent the spread of infection to others.

  • Use a tissue! Keep tissues handy at home, at work and in your pocket. Be sure to throw away used tissues and clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with the bend of your elbow or hands. If you use your hands, clean them right away. 

If you are sick, avoid close contact with others

  • If you are sick, stay away from other people or stay home. Don’t shake hands or touch others.
  • When you go for medical treatment, call ahead and ask if there’s anything you can do to avoid infecting people in the waiting room.

Make sure health care providers clean their hands or wear gloves

  • Doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care providers come into contact with a lot of bacteria and viruses. So before they treat you, ask them if they’ve cleaned their hands.
  • Health care providers should wear clean gloves when they perform tasks such as taking throat cultures, pulling teeth, taking blood, touching wounds or body fluids, and examining your mouth or private parts. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they should wear gloves.

Get shots to avoid disease and fight the spread of infection

Make sure that your vaccinations are current, even for adults. Check with your doctor about shots you may need. Vaccinations are available to prevent these diseases:

  • Chicken pox
  • Measles
  • Tetanus 
  • Shingles
  • Flu (also known as influenza)
  • German measles (also known as Rubella)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Mumps 
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis
  • Meningitis
  • Whooping cough (also known as Pertussis)
  • Pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae)

Information provided by The Joint Commission, Speak Up Campaign. For further information visit www.jointcommission.org.

Questions about precautions while in the hospital

While in the hospital, you may be placed on special precautions or notice other patients on precautions.  Your nurse will explain any special measures you or your family may need to take in order to prevent the spread of infection.  In addition, the hospital has an infection control practitioner available to answer any specific questions you or your family may have. 

Join the conversation!


Like us on Facebook to receive instant updates on events in your community, wellness information and hospital services.

Patient Guides

Our Patient Guides provide essential information about the services and resources available to you at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley

Holy Family Hospital patient guide

Holy Family Hospital Patient Guide

Connect with Steward

Visit Our Twitter Feed Visit Our Facebook Page Visit Our YouTube Channel Email This Page Print This Page

Subscribe to our patient e-newsletter

Copyright © 2015 Steward Health Care
Connect Healthcare Panacea CMS Solutions