Protecting health workers and the public from hospital-related infections or contamination is very important. As a healthcare manager, you must ensure that you have in place enough preventive measures to protect your team and patients. When you work with an infection prevention consultant they can help you with policies and procedures for handling medical equipment and surfaces and ensure procedures are strictly followed.
If possible, educate your patients on the need to wash their hands and avoid unnecessary contact. By applying preventive measures in your clinic, the quality of life for your workers is improved, and many diseases are kept at bay. Here are some of the tips you can use to prevent hospital-related infections.
Personal Protective Equipment
All hospital workers must have personal protective equipment where necessary to avoid germs and infections from undue contact. There are various types of PPEs for hospital workers, such as face masks, gloves, face shields, and clothing.
The type of PPE a healthcare worker uses depends on the kind of work they do. A janitor’s PPE will be different from a doctor’s for the most part. You can also ensure that all patient records are correctly filled in to avoid problems. Patient records include various details, which is why you need a good revenue cycle management system.
What is revenue cycle management? It’s a financial system that allows your clinic to have proper patient records from registration to treatment to payment. It also allows your clinic to have a patient’s insurance details and promptly follow up on settlement. Having correct and up-to-date patient information makes workflow smoother and less stressful.
Hand hygiene is among the most important prevention measures for both DHCP and patients. Doctors and nurses must wash their hands before attending to a patient or performing a surgical procedure. You can start by organizing regular training programs and enforcing appropriate hand hygiene practices.
The training programs will help address your healthcare workers’ attitudes and behaviors, promoting a safer environment. They must use water and plain soap or hand antisepsis specific to the healthcare profession. According to the World Health Organization, 8.7 percent of hospital patients acquire Nosocomial Infections (NI).
These infections are a direct cause of tons of hospital deaths. Hand hygiene is therefore hugely important in oral and routine surgical procedures. Healthcare workers’ hands are among the most common transmission carriers. The infections can be acquired from touching polluted environments and then transmitted to patients.
Environmental Infection Prevention and Control
To avoid environmental infection in hospitals, you must ensure that hospital surfaces are properly cleaned and disinfected. You must set up procedures and policies for cleaning environmental surfaces in your clinic’s prevention plan. The surfaces can be a major source of infections, such as damp surfaces and materials.
Damp surfaces are a major rearing ground for bacteria which can easily spread due to constant human interaction. There are various ways of disinfecting hospital environments. Each of these depends on many factors, such as the type of item or surface being disinfected. A large number of microorganisms are removed when cleaning using the right cleaning aids.
Other factors to consider when cleaning hospital environments are the amount of activity, type of surface, and amount of moisture. Medical equipment must also be thoroughly cleaned before being used. Manufacturers of this equipment must provide maintenance and cleaning instructions for every piece of equipment bought.
Disinfection and Sterilization of Patient-Care Items and Devices
Patient care devices must be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized before using them. You’re advised to first clean the items with detergent and water or enzymatic cleaners before sterilizing them. Any residue on such tools as tissue or blood should be meticulously cleaned manually or through ultrasonic cleaners.
Policies and procedures must be in place for handling, transporting, and containing medical equipment that can cause contamination. It is advised that non-critical medical apparatus like blood pressure cuffs be regularly disinfected. You must ensure that the items are disinfected after every use or at least once a day.
Critical medical devices like dental instruments should either be discarded or sterilized after every use. Window curtains, walls, and blinds should as well be cleaned and disinfected periodically to avoid possible contamination. This should be done with an EPA-registered disinfectant for hospitals.
Keep Pathogens at Bay
If left unmanaged, hospitals and clinics can bring about dangerous infections for patients and healthcare providers. Ensure that your healthcare workers are well protected from getting contaminated by germs. Ensure they have proper PPEs to avoid physical contamination. Encourage frequent washing of hands and disinfecting of critical and non-critical devices.
You may also like: 7 Things That Destroy Staff Motivation in a Healthcare Set Up