Hospitals doctors offices and medical facilities are places that people go to get better. That is why it is imperative that we work at stopping hospital acquired infections.
According to statistics, hospital acquired infections have already killed close to 80,000 people this year. That means almost ten times more people died from a preventable hospital acquired infection then were murdered with guns.
In addition, some estimates state that almost 2 million people per year will acquire an infection while at a medical facility causing additional treatment, and longer stays that drive healthcare costs up, and reduce your facilities profitability.
What Are Hospital Acquired Infections?
A hospital acquired infection, by definition, is an infection that was not present before someone has been under medical care. These are also called nosocomial infections. These infections usually occur between 48 hours after hospital admission and 3 days after discharge, although they can occur up to 30 days after an operation. The most common types of hospital acquired infections are: urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, gastroenteritis, meningitis, and pneumonia. The most common causes of hospital acquired infections are: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterococci, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Where Do Hospital Acquired Infections Come From?
The majority of infections acquired during hospital stays come from intensive care units (where people with the most serious diseases are treated). However, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people admitted to a hospital will contract a hospital acquired infection.
Nosocomial infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi although bacteria alone causes about 90 percent of cases.
These infections spread mainly through person-to-person contact. This includes dirty hands, and unclean medical instruments such as catheters, respiratory machines, and other hospital tools. As you can see, prevention needs to be paramount in the effort to reduce these staggering numbers.
How Do We Stop Hospital Acquired Infections?
There is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of patients acquiring an infection during their stay at a medical facility. However, there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk.
For starters, proper hand hygiene is necessary. Washing hands before and after touching patients can not be stressed enough. Second, staff must always wear appropriate gear including gowns, gloves and face protection. Next, patients need to be screened and patients with infections need to be isolated.
It is also imperative that recommended guidelines for sterilization and disinfection of all surfaces be followed. Thorough cleaning of surfaces can not be stressed enough. It is important that any medical facility is using a cleaning service that has been trained to in proper sterilization and disinfection techniques and procedures for a medical facility, and that their staff is motivated, and ready to not only meet healthcare standards, but exceed them.
At BRAVO! Group Services, our comprehensive environmental solutions program will not only minimize the risk of infectious diseases and contamination, but it will help maximize your productivity and profitability.
Contact BRAVO! Group Services to schedule a consultation where we will go over your facilities unique needs and put together a plan that will keep your patients safer, and increase your profitability.