Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Ways in Which Environmental Management Can Help in Infection Control

Nosocomial infections are those that typically manifest themselves in a hospital setup. Such kinds of infection can spread in many different ways. That is where infection control comes in which is responsible to put in place various procedures and safeguards to minimize the risk of spreading diseases. Such controls have to work on several fronts, and though in the center of it all are patients, environmental management too is important.
The 5 ways mentioned below revolve around managing the hospital environment to check infection.
• Proper Ventilation: Suitable ventilation systems are of utmost importance whether it is a general area or a surgery room. The higher risk areas of a facility for transplants, operation and critical care must have filtration units for providing clean or ultra air depending on the room and the criticality of the procedures involved. If the patients' room or any general area is air-conditioned then the filters must be cleaned regularly. If instead of air-conditioning there are fans then its flow should be directed towards the nearest window and never towards other rooms or corridors. Also the use of fans must be avoided where the risk of airborne pathogens is high. A hospital's ventilation should be such that reduces the possibility of contamination and all the systems must be checked and maintained on a regular basis by the relevant personnel.
• Safe Water: Drinking water must be boiled or dispensed through purifiers. Also the dispensers for storing water must be completely sealed off against any kind of contact with hands or other materials, also the glasses must be disposable. In addition the tanks containing water for washing should be cleaned and monitored to keep any kind of contamination at bay.
• Maintaining Cleanliness: Cleanliness of the hospital is a fairly basic but important measure for infection control. While administrative sections of the facility can be cleaned like your house, the areas consisting of patients should be cleaned not by sweeping but with a mop soaked in a solution of hot water and detergent. A disinfectant may be added for certain specialized areas. Also any spills of body or fluids must be cleaned off immediately.
• Managing Waste: Waste generated by the hospital can literally be a reservoir for infection and must be handled accordingly. Such waste must be carefully segregated and stored in the proper container or bags which should be suitably marked. Their storage areas must have sufficient warning signs too. From here the waste can be sent to the incinerator and transported as per the requirements. Also remember that the personnel handling such waste must wear protective gear at all times.
• Laundry Services: Used laundry must be deposited in bags marked for the purpose, especially those that are contaminated by body fluids. Such laundry must be carefully transported with minimum agitation and ideally washed in washers with detergent and water at high temperatures, and then dried off in heavy duty driers.
A proper management of various environmental factors can be very effective for infection control in a health care facility.

1 comment:

  1. nice blog and details shared for a proper management of various environmental factors.

    Environmental Management