Hospital-acquired infections (known as HAI) are infections that weren’t present in the patient at the time of admission to the hospital or healthcare facility. These infections are especially dangerous because patients are already vulnerable to infection, so introducing a new pathogen can cause serious complications. It’s vital to monitor and contain pathogens and infection in your healthcare facility.
The Importance of Prevention
Prevention is crucial in controlling the spread of infection within healthcare facilities.The reputation of your facility and the safety of those in it rests on the procedures you put in place to minimize risks. Prevention requires the collaboration of staff, contractors and service providers to implement proper prevention techniques.
1) Infection Control Program
It’s absolutely vital to the safety of your patients and staff to have a solid infection control program in place. This program should include guidelines for handling hazardous materials, hand washing, patient care, staff attire and checklists for what to do in case of an outbreak.
2) Employee Training
Infection control training is a critical aspect of keeping patients safe. Employees are the frontline of defense in the fight against infection, but without a foundation of knowledge, it becomes very difficult to maintain infection control procedures. Facility staff should be thoroughly trained in a variety of infection control procedures, such as the handling and disposal of needles, etc.
4) Environmental Management
Environmental management encompasses all aspects of the physical environment of the facility. This includes proper ventilation, equipment care, linen sanitation, adequate healthcare products, and facility cleanliness. Without regular sanitizing, objects, equipment and linens can facilitate indirect contact contamination. For example, if an infected patient grips a doorknob later used by another patient, the contaminated doorknob may spread the infection to whoever uses it next.
There are many federal and state guidelines dictating basic procedures for infection control. These include self-reporting of infection rates and proof of an infection control program with constant oversight. Noncompliance can lead to significant fines and even facility closure.
Efficient Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities
While your education in disinfection, pathogens and infection prevention should be ongoing, this guide can help you consistently strive to do better. Infection control is a dynamic process of many moving parts. It can be overwhelming to consider all the requirements. Wilkens Linens understands and exceeds the high standards set for healthcare products and linens. With one less thing on your plate, you can focus on the safety and care of your patients and staff.
Contact Us to learn more about proper linen management for your healthcare facility.