Safety is always one of the main concerns of health officials and healthcare professionals. Contamination that occurs in a medical setting can cause many problems for patients and employees. Whether the contamination results from an on-site incident or comes from a product used by a healthcare professional, contamination in healthcare settings isn’t always the fault or negligence of one person. Rather, it often results from a system failure, poor communication, lack of quality controls, or other errors that end up contaminating the work environment.
Learning how to prevent contamination in healthcare is easy. However, you have to take the initiative. It’s up to you how you’ll keep your facility clean, invest in the right tools, and educate employees. Failure to do so can result in the spread of bacteria and illnesses that can create a lot of trouble in your medical facility and put your patients at risk. To prevent contamination in healthcare and medical facilities, the following are important steps that health workers, medical professionals, and organizations should make:
Identify the Sources and Causes of Contamination
Contamination of any type in a healthcare facility can be potentially deadly or cause severe damage. Prevention is often the best course of action for preventing the spread of contamination. The environment in which healthcare workers operate is very complex and highly susceptible to a wide range of contaminants. There are several ways in which contamination can occur, ranging from biological and environmental causes to poor sterilization practices and the mishandling of medical supplies.
What’s the effective way to prevent contamination in healthcare and medical facilities? We need to identify the sources of contamination first which may be difficult because sources of contamination can occur anywhere and at any time. In addition, some sources of contamination aren’t immediately obvious. Some contaminants can enter the healthcare facility which is why a particle counter should be installed to detect biological hazards such as debris, molds, and other harmful organic elements. There are many reasons why healthcare facilities should invest in particle counters. Click for more info and details about these devices.
Practice Personal Hygiene
The importance of good personal hygiene should be obvious, but it’s often overlooked in the course of working or operating a medical facility. Hand hygiene is the most important so all employees should ensure that their hands are clean by washing them thoroughly, scrubbing them down, and then drying them completely after cleaning. This process needs to be repeated daily until there are no bacteria on your hands. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent contamination in a healthcare facility.
Sterilize Medical Equipment
In addition, you should also be sure to sterilize all devices and instruments that you use in a healthcare facility. Any medical device, from the scalpel to the catheter that has ever been in contact with bodily fluids needs to be sterilized to ensure that it won’t cause any infection or cross-contamination. Additionally, any materials that may have come in contact with a potentially contaminated instrument or surface need to be treated. Cleaning all medical instruments is imperative, as well as disinfecting them thoroughly.
Ensure Proper Cleaning and Waste Disposal
The cleanliness of instruments and devices isn’t the only consideration that you need to think about when preventing contamination in healthcare facilities. In addition to ensuring that all equipment and tools are disinfected, you should also be sure to disinfect all areas that may come in contact with bodily fluids or other infectious materials. This includes all areas where people may change beds or showers, whether they are for a patient or another individual. In short, you should make sure that everything in your facility is clean and sterile.
Proper waste disposal is also crucial to prevent hazardous materials and dangerous toxins from coming in contact with patients and employees. Hazardous waste needs to be stored securely in proper containers. Medical waste products need to be segregated according to the size and type of waste. And, if the contaminated material poses a health risk, it needs to be removed promptly.
Implement A Safety Program
Sometimes employees may forget to use the right practices to keep a facility free from contamination because of their busy schedules. Thus, it’s essential to create a safety program that’s easy to remember and follow. By creating an internal group that implements and ensures the best hygiene and cleanliness practices, a company can work together to ensure that all employees, patients, and visitors follow the company’s safety program. When you properly implement a safety program, you have the best opportunity to protect your patients and help to maintain quality healthcare.
Several different types of contamination can occur in healthcare facilities. These include direct contact with an infected patient, ingestion of contaminated food or drink, and exposure to contaminated medical supplies or tools. Each of these can lead to serious health risks for patients and health workers. To prevent contamination in healthcare settings, it’s important to first understand what causes contamination. A close look at the different ways in which contamination can occur should be prioritized before determining a solution. After which, adhering to simple rules on hygiene and following best practices will go a long way in keeping your healthcare facility clean and safe.