What is Infection Prevention, and Why Is It So Critical for the Health of Patients?
Any public or common space is bound to host a variety of infection-causing bacteria. Public bathrooms, restaurants, airplanes, hotels and motels, movie theaters, daycare centers, schools, your home, and your workplace – you guessed it, these places harbor TONS of bacteria.
Infection prevention and control is an absolute requirement to prevent the communication of communicable diseases in any setting. Infection prevention and control demands that business owners and those responsible for cleaning those workspaces are in tune with the best processes, tools, and products to reduce the risk of health concerns.
The role of infection prevention is not just limited to medical facilities, hospitals, and surgery centers either, but at Bee Line Support, we provide commercial cleaning to hundreds of these locations every day. When your business is about patient care, it’s so important that pathogens are squashed before they have the ability to spread. That’s why we use the highest infection control standards in the industry, and as recommended by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
How to prevent the spread of infections
Preventing the spread of infection should be everyone’s responsibility, and steps should be taken on a daily basis, long before any commercial cleaner comes in to take care of the rest. By understanding how infections are spread, you can take steps to keep those tiny infectious organisms from moving from person to person. Consider the following recommendations that you can employ today:
Wash your hands well – and we mean really wash those babies. A quick dip under a running faucet doesn’t count. Properly washing hands entails rubbing your soapy hands under the water for at least 20 seconds (and up to two minutes based on what you have been in contact with).
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze – please. If you don’t have a tissue or a hanky handy, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and not your hand. If you do sneeze or cough into your hand, please review and follow step # 1.
Wash and bandage all cuts – A doctor should examine any serious cut or animal or human bite. A doctor can ensure that you receive proper attention or medication to prevent infection, and can also determine if you need stitches.
Don’t pick at your scabs – Seriously, this is really gross so as much as we all love to watch ourselves a little Doctor Pimple Popper, please just don’t do it. Not only is it really gross, but picking at those wounds or blemishes, and squeezing those pimples seriously increases your risks of spreading (or developing) an infection. And if you don’t heed our advice, then please review and follow step # 1 when you are done.
Do not share dishes, glasses, or silverware – You never know when that person next to you at dinner might be harboring some sort of an infection, so avoid the temptation to share dishware, and do what you can to avoid scooping up a fork-full of that lobster macaroni and cheese on your partner’s plate. It might look delightful, but do you really want to know where their mouth has been? Ahem, ahem.
Conducting a Black Light Audit
Yes, we know how black lights can be used. Everything you have seen on Crime Scene Investigation is probably true; these nifty black lights can be used to detect the presence of trace evidence in forensic investigations. Blood, urine, and ahem, other bodily fluids can indeed be revealed on the surfaces of floors, bed linens, and other spaces.
Using a black light is really the only way to ensure that your place of business or your patient care facility is truly as clean as you think it is, and as clean as it needs to be.
Though your first line of defense is making sure that your employees are cleaning up after themselves, your second line of defense really is your commercial cleaning crew. Your hospital’s fearless pathogen warriors are ready to tackle even the toughest of infection prone areas. With cleaning staff sanitizing all rooms and on a regular basis, it is so critical that you are leveraging staff with the proper training and processes to avoid moving those loose pathogens around from one area to another. Trust us, nobody enjoys other people's leftovers, especially when it comes to infection-spreading germs.
Many commercial cleaners, including Bee Line Support, start by conducting a black-light audit to figure out the biggest areas of concern. And not only can these black lights help you understand where infectious fluids might be present, but they can also make for a pretty cool party trick if you have some Hennessy V.S Limited Edition cognac or a flying squirrel on hand – really.
The Importance of Preventing HAIs
HAIs (healthcare associated infections) are the truly scary menaces. HAIs are infections that patients can get when they are receiving treatment for a medical or surgical condition. Many HAIs are preventable, however, and are yet another reason to make sure you’re completely cleaning every square inch of your space.
Unfortunately, HAIs are a big cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. And, the risks associated with these HAIs result in substantial increases in health care costs annually. At any one time in the United States, one out of every 25 hospitalized patients is affected by an HAI. Thus, eliminating these infectious surfaces helps to decrease the risk of developing one of these illnesses, and can help to keep your patient care facility out of legal trouble.
Do your part to decrease the risk of HAIs and the spread of infection
Educating your employees on proper hand-washing techniques as well as proper clean-up, can really be the difference between a life and death situation in a patient care setting. Detailed clean-up at medical facilities is absolutely vital as is the need to prevent cross-contamination. By following best practices and maintaining consistent sterilization on a regular basis, we can lessen the risk of spread of these nasty pathogens, which means a better prognosis for all.