Does your medical staff go above and beyond to take care of each one of their patients? And are they aware that they might be transmitting healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) to those very same individuals?
As the fear of antibiotic-resistant organisms (such as MRSA) is on the rise, your healthcare facility needs to buckle down on this prominent issue and see how you may potentially contribute to fatal infections.
But don’t fear. There are simple preventative actions you can initiate in your facility to raise awareness about HAIs and protect both your patients and personnel from these potential dangers. While you should, of course, consult legal requirements to make sure your facility is following industry standards, our tips should help you get started making your facility safer today.
So, how do these infections spread?
Patient Contact Transmission Risk Factors
In a medical facility, there is no doubt that there are contagious carriers. Whether it is as simple as a cold, or as complex and scary as MRSA, microorganisms, bacteria and viruses are present and can easily transfer from patient to surface to healthcare professional to another patient.
How each individual reacts to the potential infection varies depending on their immune system. Therefore, the liability of a medical facility increases in the presence of these organisms, because you probably have patients with compromised immune systems. Therefore, some of the common areas in your facility that pose a risk include:
- Any surface area near patients
- Medical and surgical linen and apparel
- Central venous catheters
- Medical ventilators
The Right to Patient and Personnel Safety from HAIs
When a patient comes to you in need of medical help, that responsibility is then placed on your facility to provide the care they need. Additionally, your personnel also rely on your facility to keep them safe from contracting any dangerous illnesses.
Therefore, it is up to you to implement training and procedures that will maintain the environmental cleanliness of your facility.
Setting Action Goals for Healthcare Infection Control and Prevention
Based on our above list, the two main areas that pose a risk of infection transfer are your employees themselves and the environment your patients seek care in. Therefore, by implementing practices that improve employee hygiene and keep your facility cleaner, you can greatly reduce the risk of patients contracting infectious diseases from your location.
Washing your hands might seem like an obvious thing to do, especially in a healthcare facility, but your employees may not be washing their hands as frequently as they should. Not out of a contempt for hand hygiene behaviors, but simply because the thought may not arise.
Hand hygiene isn’t just about washing hands after physically working with a patient, but also right before any contact with a different patient. The same concept should be applied when using gloves. Just because a glove is used as a barrier between the patient and the employee, hands still need to be washed before putting on gloves and after removing them.
See this guide for proper healthcare hand washing behaviors and find creative ways to share with your employees.
Everything your patients interact with is a potential harbor for dangerous microorganisms. And washing your linens and apparel onsite might not be enough to actually protect the next patient who uses them.
With a linen and apparel rental service from a company that specializes in the medical industry, you can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases from patient to patient.
Use the proper products to keep your environment clean and up to standard. Cleaning your surfaces makes sense, but what might often go unnoticed is your floors. Using the proper mops to reduce the possibility of cross contamination and mats to stop dirt and other potential bacteria from tracking onto your floors is essential to your facility’s cleanliness!
Do your part in preventing HAIs today. Contact Unitex to learn about the importance of a linen and apparel rental service and environmental service products for your medical facility.