Updated: May 7, 2020
With the whole COVID-19 situation going on and healthcare facilities being flooded with patients and their care-takers it has become extremely crucial to maintain the sanitation and cleanliness in the patient care area. Sterilizing and disinfecting these spaces is an essential part of infection and contamination control and some best general healthcare practices. Hence, for proper cleaning and disinfection, it is important to have the best tools serving the purpose. Healthcare facilities must ensure that these are totally touchless and zero contact methods of sterilization and disinfection. Owing to the advanced technology we have got equipment like Hyper Light Disinfection Robot for room sterilization, offering complete and contactless sterilization, or be it Care of Sweden 3 in 1 Disinfectant wipes for disinfecting medical surfaces and surroundings.
From solvents and mops to new age technology like Disinfection Robot using UV and other touchless methods, ZEPNURhealth has researched and gathered ideas that can be best for sterilizing your patient care space! However, this does not touch on the sterilization of actual equipment like surgical instruments, clothing, etc and specifically deals with the disinfection of the healthcare facility at large. These are the most important steps that every facility needs to consider in its infection control process.
Good and Thorough Training Process
We have come across many such hospitals and clinics where the cleaning staff has been given the most basic cleaning instructions. These primary level cleaning no longer cater to the new and more deadly infections we hear about daily. The staff at any healthcare facility must be gone through advanced and more specific sterilization and disinfection training processes. Protocols must be checked regularly, designed, and modified(updated) as per the norms of the NCDC & WHO.
The staff in charge of sterilizing patient care spaces are perhaps the most important aspect of a healthcare facility’s manager arsenal. Despite advancements in sterilization technology, the people that complete the daily tasks necessary to keep your healthcare environment clean are still essential to the process. Staff should not only be well-trained and diligent, but they should also be constantly empowered to make improvements to the sterilization process and reminded of just how essential they are to patient care and overall facility safety.
Now is the time when all of us have realized that the most basic processes are the most effective. Yes, here we are talking about Washing Hands and self-sanitization. These are also true when it comes to healthcare spaces. Each facility should have its own policy about which cleaning agents to be used for maintaining a level of disinfection. These policies should also adhere to the governing policies. Tracking the instance of hospital-acquired infections and relating them back to cleaning procedures and materials can be an important step towards better infection control methods as well.
Adopting New Technologies
It is not unknown that the standard cleaning agents can be quite effective against some infections we already know about! But when it comes to novel infections, newer technologies should be adopted to make patient care sterilization more effective and efficient. One such technology is certainly far-UV sterilization, which allows for a no-touch process that boasts a 99.99% kill rate for pathogens, completely destroying those pathogens in a matter of seconds. While far-UV or other UV sterilization is not necessarily appropriate for all uses, exploring new technologies is essential in maintaining a properly sterilized facility and can end up saving time and money in the long run.
Isolation rooms and equipment must already be present in all the major patient care spaces. Patient care rooms that house patients with any possible communicable transmission or patients having compromised immunity must be kept in a completely isolated area and the rooms must be strictly used for such purposes. By using the correct isolation equipment and proper ventilation staffs should keep these spaces sterilized.
Sterilizing and disinfecting patient care spaces is one of the most important and challenging tasks of infection control. With the use of the right strategies and tools, every facility can have a chance at reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections and creating better patient outcomes.
Even though the current pandemic we are in will get over and things will probably return to normal it is essential that we keep practicing proper sterilization at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. We must not forget about the necessary self-sanitization practices we are doing to maintain infection-free surroundings!