Reham Assem Mohamed Elashri, MBBS, CIC, CPHQ

Location: Saudi Arabia

Title: Infection Prevention & Control Physician

Company/Organization: Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Makkah

First Certified: May 2018

In our hospital Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, our hospital is already a corona center & specialist hospital.

We are corona center for all Makkah regions with the first appearance of COVID-19 cases in Makkah March 2020 between Umrah group, our hospital has been transferred to COVID-19 isolation hospital, 2nd floor was ICUs for COVID-19 critical cases, 3rd floor was for confirmed cases of COVID-19  stable cases, 4th floor was for isolation of COVID-19 suspected cases.

We implemented respiratory visual triage checklist in all hospital entries (ED, AKC, and OPD).

As an infection control preventiontist, we are facing greatest challenges to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities between patients & from patient to HCWs &also in between HCWs themselves.

We were increasing IPC lectures, courses, onsite training & monitoring for proper donning & doffing of PPE. Proper use of PPE to prevent overuse & misuse of them which may lead to shortage of PPE. In case of shortage of PPE, we activated reuse & extended use of N95 in corona areas, also extended use of all PPE except gloves in corona area with precautions, also reuse of some of PPE as face shield & eye goggle to be reusable between patients after disinfection by hospital approved disinfection  but for the same HCW.

We has been activated TOT for every department to increase number of trainers to help us in implementing IPC measures.

Our greatest success in implementing COVID-19 guidance was by very fast updating of COVID-19 surveillance case definition, respiratory visual triage checklist & COVID-19 guidance just after the updating coming from Ministry of Health, trying to sent updated guideline to all departments & explain it to them.

Some of HCWs were very anxious, overloaded &stressed so we try to give them psychological support, these lead to all HCWs trusted of us. We also activate Buddy system between HCWs to ensure that the work is finished safely or the skill/learning is transferred effectively from one individual to the other.

Our existing partnerships affected our work & lead to decrease the number of COVID-19 infected HCWs in our hospital in comparing to the other hospitals in Makkah regions.

All our hospital staffs were called upon to work for 12 hours/day every day for 6 months without any off days to manage the increasing number of infected COVID-19 cases.

Some of our staff has been transferred to another hospital to help in the new establish hospital which has been establish because of COVID-19 pandemic.

My CIC certification prepared me to face the challenges by increasing my skills, information, attitude, experiences. Training me to analyze, apply, recall any information & scientifically thinking.

I would like to honor Mr. Maher Mahdi our CIC academy admin for his greatest effort & support to all CIC academy members in their way to become CICs.