Hospital infections focus

29th of June 2011
Hospital infections focus

Italian cleaning association Afidamp has organised a series of seminars focusing on the healthcare sector - reports Anna Garbagna.

Afidamp, the Italian association of producers of machines, tools and equipment for professional cleaning and environmental hygiene, is 30 years old and it wanted to celebrate its anniversary with past and present associates and anyone else who has accompanied  its progressive establishment as association of reference for the diffusion of values which have validated its creation.

In April Michele Redi,  president of AfidampFAB, welcomed guests for a discussion which gathered the past presidents - men who created the association - as well as today’s protagonists who are writing the new history of the association - a new history filled with many initiatives.

Among the events it is worth talking about the conference in Milan entitled Cleaning and Sanitisation in Health and Socio-Health Facilities, organised by the International Institute of Research and sponsored by AfidampFAB among others. Delegates there heard that “between six and eight per cent of Italians who are admitted to hospital contract a hospital infection, which affects approximately 700,000 people per year, of whom  1.1 per cent never recover”.

Experts representing healthcare management authorities, nursing offices, finance/superintendency offices, prevention and protection services, hospital pharmacies, hospital hygiene services and microbiology took turns over the two-day event to review the state of cleaning in hospital buildings and other healthcare facilities. They then also suggested feasible solutions to tackle a problem that causes more deaths in Italy than road accidents.

Starting from the existing regulations - with particular reference to the main changes introduced by the New Regulation for Contracts which comes into force in June - the speakers analysed all the aspects that concern cleaning services and environmental sanitisation: those performed in-house by members of the health staff as well as those being outsourced. In both cases it vital to be able to implement within the facility a number of procedures, protocols and guidelines which are, as far as the cleaning and sanitisation procedures are concerned, agreed at all levels (from operators to doctors) as well as checking the service in order to guarantee high quality and safety standards.

To be precise, it is necessary to organise and adopt regular and periodic hygiene measures in order to reduce microorganisms carried by air, dirt and environmental dust to an acceptable level, and it is necessary to set up a protocol of management of environmental sanitisation services that includes delivery and monitoring procedures. Obviously this must be done while taking into consideration new solutions offered by science such as: use of microfibre, dry steam cleaning, alcohol-based solutions for hand scrubbing, hydrogen peroxide dry fog and silver ion nanotechnologies.

A number of  case histories have ultimately shown that, despite initial intentions to implement compulsory changes to tackle the problem of hospital infections, first rate solutions are already in place in a number of Italian hospitals.


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