Hospital acquired infections or HAIs are a significant threat to patient safety and must be dealt with in the most appropriate manner by healthcare organisations. Even though they require minimal effort to prevent, most cleaning services don’t take the necessary steps to stop hospital-acquired infections in their tracks. As part of a healthcare organisation, you realise the importance of tackling these HAIs and take all the necessary steps to ensure its prevention.
To help you out, we are going to be covering some of the basic prevention techniques for HAIs and the difference it can make to your healthcare organisation if you hire a professional disinfection service.
What Is a Hospital-Acquired Infection?
Hospital acquired infections often occur in patients who require the use of devices such as central lines or catheters. They can also develop at surgical sites, which is why you need to follow proper infection control procedures and protocols in the hospital.
A study published by the American Medical Association found that HAIs result in over $9.8 billion dollars a year in medical costs and contribute substantially to the rising price of healthcare. Hundreds of lives are lost every year due to hospital acquired infections, and it is time that healthcare organisations took steps to prevent it.
What Are the Causes of Hospital Acquired Infections?
According to the Centre for Disease Control, washing your hands is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Unfortunately, a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that correct hand hygiene among doctors is only 40% to 60% on a good day. Physicians aren’t the only offenders, as nursing staff and patients themselves aren’t washing their hands with a frequency that will stop the infection in its tracks before it starts to spread.
Even though hospital floors aren’t classified as a high-touch surface, many highly touched objects come in contact with the hospital floor. These items can include anything from blood pressure cuffs to the call buttons used by patients to summon nurses.
Open wards in which multiple patient beds reside can significantly increase the risk of hospital acquired infections, causing them to spread rapidly among patients. Modifying the design of hospital wards is an important step to preventing infections. In the UK, where 1 in 15 hospital patients are affected by HAIs, steps are being taken to change the traditional open ward model to reduce the spread of sickness.
How Can Hospital Acquired Infections Be Prevented?
There are many different ways you can implement in the hospital to ensure that hospital acquired infections don’t become a problem for your healthcare organisation. Practising proper hand hygiene is one of the most important steps as it ensures that viruses aren’t transmitted as easily from doctor to patient and from patient to patient. Here are some of the steps that can prevent HAIs:
- Wash hands thoroughly and routinely
- Clean the patient’s skin periodically
- Wear masks, hat, gown, gloves, and place sterile drapes over patient
- Ensure proper infection control protocol is in place
- Hire a disinfection company for electrostatic spraying
When these steps are followed, infection rates drop from 3 in 1 thousand patients to zero. When you consider that the first three steps are related to personal hygiene, you realise just important that is to the complete picture. Simple steps like these can potentially save your healthcare organisation from rising healthcare costs and prevent infections completely.
Consumer reports state that all hospitals must have routine inspections to ensure that they have not only infection control programs but that they are being followed by everyone, from the highest-paid employees to the cleaning and disinfection services hired to work in the hospital. You should also create a list of all the surfaces that have the potential of patient contact and ensure that they are not only cleaned regularly but are also disinfected.
The Advantages of Electrostatic Spraying
Electrostatic spraying of chemical disinfectants has numerous advantages over using conventional electric powered or hand-powered sprayers and other disinfecting application methods.
The biggest advantage being, the electrostatic charge applied gives a more even, full coat of protection when compared to other methods. When the positively charged chemical disinfectant is sprayed onto a negatively charged (grounded) surface, the disinfectant particles are naturally and strongly attracted and stick to the surface.
As the entire surface being sprayed is negatively charged, the entire surface will be covered by the chemical disinfectant, leading to uniform coverage and overall more comprehensive protection from pathogens or from cross-contamination by touch.
Another very useful advantage of using electrostatic spraying to disinfect or decontaminate an area is that it can get to hard-to-reach areas, like crevices, around corners, and backsides of surfaces. The airborne disinfectant will “seek out” uncoated surfaces to adhere to rather than already coated material, as the attraction is stronger to the uncoated surfaces. This comes in handy as electrostatic spraying can reach areas that could not otherwise be reached with traditional sprayers.
The Financial Impact of Hospital-Acquired Infections
Hospitals are rated on how many incidents of hospital-acquired diseases occur in their patients. If a hospital has a high rate, it’s not just bad news for the patients within their walls, but it can also lead to incredibly bad press. In most instances, patients can choose, which hospital they are taken to, and you can be sure that if a hospital has been in the news for hospital acquired infections, the patients will not choose to go to that hospital. When beds aren’t full, the subsequent loss of revenue for the hospital can be substantial.
Hiring an effective disinfection company that understands hospital-acquired infections, and knows how to prevent them is a productive first step to ensuring that your hospital remains infection-free. Infection Prevention Ireland has approved distributors in Ireland for the Victory electrostatic sprayers and TECcare Antimicrobial Technologies range of eco-friendly hospital grade disinfectant solutions. Our supply chain is in place, and we are the fastest route available in Ireland to securing this groundbreaking infection prevention & control system.