Infection Control in hospitals

Hospitals are home to both those who are most at risk of picking up an infection, as well as those who are being treated for infection; controlling the potential for the spread of infection is then an inherently difficult challenge. Whilst modern tools, cleaning techniques and policies are utilised to have driven down the occurrence of cross patient infections, the hospital bred infections such as MRSA, MSSA and C Difficile serve as particularly pressing threats. What’s more with 1 in 25 patients still picking up hospital acquired infections (Mercola 2014) it’s clear that even with the most modern of approaches, advanced hospital buildings and well-versed staff, that such infections remain as pertinent an issue to tackle as ever, particularly as hospital superbugs are quickly morphing into bacterium that resists anti-biotic treatments.

Infection Control Approach

Creating a robust approach to control infection within a hospital setting is vital for protecting those that are being looked after, as well as the doctors, nurses and caregivers who are providing care.

The four cornerstones of any approach to infection control include:

  • Meticulous hand hygiene;
  • Diligent cleaning processes;
  • Antibiotic control;
  • Comprehensive intravenous line care.

The challenge of the visitor

Whilst infection control measures can be put in place and monitored as to their effectiveness in relation to staff, controlling the actions of patients, and more importantly their visitors, is another matter entirely. Infections may be introduced to the hospital by visitors who may be unaware that they are carrying bacteria along with them; whilst breakouts of conditions such as Norovirus also serve to frequently cease visiting hours entirely. For the visitor the single key tool in overcoming such infection transmission is alcohol rub – routinely placed at each of the doors that visitors must pass through on their way into the hospital.

Beyond the four cornerstones: Ventilation

Whilst the four cornerstones of infection control serve as the basic building blocks of preventing cross infection, there are many threats that go beyond these to present potential for the spread of infection. Recently two key pieces of research into the ventilation systems within hospitals have found that such systems can not only improve the control hospitals have upon infection control, but moreover can go on to provide both patient comfort and energy efficiency.

The key area of research highlighted the issue where windows were closed to drive down heat loss, particularly outside of the summer months, where there was an increased risk of infection due to airborne pathogens increasing four times over. This then makes the case for a ventilation system not only one that can deliver stable temperatures all-year through, but that can help serve as an integral tool to drive down the spread of infection through the air.

The Ductbusters team lead the way with trusted cleaning services for the ventilation systems that are so vital for hospitals and medical establishments; our cleaning specifications meet the stringent standards that such premises must adhere to (specifically HTM 03-1 and TR19).

Call the team today on 0800 085 0403 for a FREE condition check from experts who truly understand the challenges that hospitals face when attempting to tackle the issue of infection control. We additionally provide Ventilation risk assessments whereby samples can be sent to our laboratory for bacteria analysis.

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