How hospitals stay hygienic

16th of December 2019 Article by Daniel Tannenbaum
How hospitals stay hygienic

Hospitals across the world must be kept free of infection and disease through stringent hygiene protocols. Daniel Tannenbaum from the marketing team at Tudor Lodge in partnership with Trovex, takes a closer look.

Across the world hospitals have their own set of regulations to help maintain good hygiene levels. Whilst regulations may vary from place to place, dependent upon the nature of the healthcare facility, they all have the same goal in mind - to keep their facilities safe and prevent the spread of infection and disease.

Keeping healthcare facilities hygienic is of the utmost importance, helping to ensure the optimal conditions for both patients to recover in and members of staff to work in. It is a major factor in maintaining a safe environment throughout a facility, especially one with an abundance of invasive surgeries, weakened immune systems and open wounds.

Keeping hospitals and other healthcare facilities as clean as possible can help to promote the recovery of patients by reducing the risk of subsequent infections. It can also help to reduce the risk of employees getting ill from their workplace, which can subsequently promote workplace wellbeing and promote productivity.

Maintaining hygiene throughout the healthcare sector is vital in preventing the spread of infection. Hospital acquired infections (or HAIs) can prolong hospital stays, cause long-term disablement and even death. It is a serious issue that impacts upon human life and the economic status of healthcare facilities, and thereby the effectiveness at which they can treat people.

So, how can hospitals stay hygienic?

Hospitals all over the globe have to maintain a certain level of hygiene, helping to minimise the spread of infection and prevent both healthcare professionals and patients from getting sick from the facility itself. Below is a list with some of the main measures hospitals can take to stay hygienic and prevent the spread of infection:

• Maintaining hand cleanliness.
• Cleaning the facility effectively.
• Wearing gloves, aprons, and other forms of protection.
• Regulating toilets and washrooms.
• Disposing of waste

By implementing these fundamental cleaning and hygiene practices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities can help to ensure a safe environment for people to occupy, reducing the risk of infections from spreading.

Maintaining hand cleanliness

Maintaining hand cleanliness is a major factor in keeping healthcare facilities clean, helping to prevent the spread of HAIs and promote productivity throughout the healthcare sector. Many hospitals have alcohol-based hand gels and hygienic wash stations by the entrance of wards to be used by patients, visitors and staff.

Additionally, some members of staff may also carry their own hand gel to help prevent the spread of infections from one ward to another.

Cleaning the facility effectively

As expected, hospitals and other healthcare facilities must maintain a certain standard of cleanliness, this varying dependent upon the area; e.g. operation rooms will require higher standards of cleanliness than toilets on a ward. Some hospitals will also close down an area within a ward all together for "enhanced cleaning" when they think that this could help to further prevent infections from arising.

These facilities should also focus on areas that frequently come into contact with people. These are knowns as high-touch areas, where infectious and harmful bacteria is most likely to reside.

Wearing gloves, aprons and other forms of protection

Wearing gloves, aprons and other forms of protection is another way for hospitals to stay hygienic, protecting members of staff from being infected by patients and vice versa. Protection is typically worn when changing the dressing for wounds, taking blood from a patient, or any other form of contact a healthcare professional may have with patients.

Regulating toilets and washrooms

Hospital toilets and washrooms can be high-risk areas that can have a great impact on the hygiene levels of a hospital. Many of these facilities ensure that toilets and washrooms throughout the building are thoroughly cleaned with equipment that has also been cleaned itself.

Some hospitals also advise that toilets on wards should be used solely by patients, with other washrooms available for staff and visitors.

Disposing of waste

Due to the nature of the waste produced by hospitals, there are a variety of different disposal systems in place. Clinical waste from hospitals is put in either of the four following categories:

• Sharp waste
• Redundant medical waste
• Infectious waste
• Anatomical waste

Clinical waste is disposed of differently dependent upon its classification. For example, body parts and waste from surgery (anatomical waste) is put into individual plastic containers, and then taken to another facility where it is destroyed.

How effective are cleaning measures?

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have shown that effective use of IPC (infection prevention and control) programmes has resulted in a reduction of HAI by over 30 per cent. By taking such cleaning measures, healthcare organisations can help to not only stay at the standard, expected hygiene levels, but also further prevent sickness arising from within the facility.



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