According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patients will catch a healthcare-associated infection. While the figure may seem alarming, the spread of such infection can be managed. If you run a healthcare facility like a hospital or clinic, your patients’ wellbeing will be your top concern. To ensure that those you treat are kept safe and protected from infectious diseases, here are some methods you need to follow.
Assess Patients for Infection Risk
Before accepting a patient into your healthcare facility, they must be assessed for any infection risks, as well as continuously while under your care. Doing this evaluation will influence your decision on what steps to take next with treatment. At present, the common symptoms you can use to establish an infection risk for the coronavirus are a persistent cough and high temperature. Your healthcare facility can also work with an infection control consultant to ensure all your goals are met. Find out more about what they can help you with at infectioncontrolresults.com.
Hand hygiene is regarded as one of the most important methods when trying to stop the spread of infection. When engaging with patients and staff, your hands are the most likely body part to come into contact with others, equipment, and surfaces, not to forget the organisms that can produce disease. You need to remember that viruses aren’t visible to the naked eye, so you can never be too sure about what germs and bacteria are lurking on your hands. Whatever you do, make sure you’re using hand sanitizer and washing your hands with soap and water.
Be More Informed of Cross-Contamination
One of the most common ways an infection can transmit from person to person is via environmental surfaces. In a healthcare facility, door handles, tables and countertops can all harbor bacteria and heighten the risk of infection. This means that you must thoroughly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly. Your team must also share the same sentiments in order to keep your facility safe from infection.
Respiratory and Cough Hygiene
The purpose of respiratory and cough hygiene is to decrease and stop the risk of cross-transmission of viruses like COVID-19. When in a healthcare facility, there are rules you and your team can follow to reduce the spread of infection through sneezes and coughs, such as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue, disposing of used tissues in a garbage can, as well as washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after sneezing, coughing, or using tissues.
PPE (personal protective equipment) is worn to reduce or prevent infections from spreading. Due to COVID-19, you will need to wear PPE when engaging with any patient or staff. As you would when protecting yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, the same rules apply to PPE. Typical PPE items you will need to wear include face coverings, eye protection, and gloves.
Whether it’s the basic principles of hand hygiene, or thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting equipment and surfaces regularly, there are lots of strategies you can implement in your healthcare facility to ensure patients and staff are kept protected from infections.