Continuing care

Infection Prevention

The Infection Prevention Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) works to identify and reduce the risks of infection in our patients and staff. We conduct infectious-disease surveillance and implement effective infection-prevention measures throughout the organization. The goal of the Infection Prevention Program is to maintain the safest possible environment for patients, caregivers and staff through a multidisciplinary team approach.  

Surveillance Closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. In medicine, surveillance means closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. It may also be used for a person who has an increased risk of a disease, such as cancer. During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. In public health, surveillance may also refer to the ongoing collection of information about a disease, such as cancer, in a certain group of people. The information collected may include where the disease occurs in a population and whether it affects people of a certain gender, age or ethnic group.
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COVID-19 information

At SCCA, our patients' health and safety are our top priorities. We have thorough safety measures in place to protect you, your caregivers, and our staff. 

For updated information on COVID-19 as it relates to our clinics and community:

Learn More

Infection Prevention Team

  • Steven Pergam, MD, MPH, Infection Prevention Medical Director
  • Salma Walji, BScN, RN, MPA, Infection Prevention Program Manager
  • Michelle Swetky, MPH, CIC, Infection Preventionist
  • Maria Everett, Program Coordinator

Infection Prevention Committee

The SCCA Infection Prevention Committee consists of representatives from specialty areas throughout SCCA. The committee meets monthly to evaluate policies, review current infection-prevention protocols and discuss current concerns.

Immunotherapy team coordinator and previous SCCA patient, John Masembe, explains why the flu shot protects patients as well as your loved ones.

Infection Prevention Activities

Surveillance

The infection preventionists use a surveillance system for tracking infections among our patients. Trends in infections are plotted and analyzed in real time, and patient data and risk factors are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. The team works together to identify opportunities for improving patient care and to develop an improvement plan.  

Surveillance Closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. In medicine, surveillance means closely watching a patient’s condition but not treating it unless there are changes in test results. Surveillance is also used to find early signs that a disease has come back. It may also be used for a person who has an increased risk of a disease, such as cancer. During surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. In public health, surveillance may also refer to the ongoing collection of information about a disease, such as cancer, in a certain group of people. The information collected may include where the disease occurs in a population and whether it affects people of a certain gender, age or ethnic group.
Infectious Disease Outbreak Investigation

Any unusual clustering of infections in the SCCA patient population or staff is investigated in order to identify potential exposures. Recommendations are then made to prevent the spread of infection.

Consultation

The Infection Prevention Team provides consultative services to patients and staff regarding infection control and prevention measures.

Education

The Infection Prevention Program provides education to patients and staff regarding key topics, including:

  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette 
  • Prevention of infectious disease transmission in a health care setting
  • Flu prevention
Planning for Emerging Threats

The Infection Prevention Team works in collaboration with local public health departments to plan for emerging infectious disease threats, including antibiotic-resistant infections and pandemic influenza.

Chris, an SCCA retired stem cell transplant RN and flu shot nurse volunteer explains why the flu shot is so important to create "herd immunity" to keep our patients, caregivers and staff healthy in our clinic.