The health and safety of your patients and employees are at the forefront of your mind when you’re a healthcare professional. You work hard to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy, but you can’t do it alone. You must have proper equipment and supplies and rigorous policies in place.
One area that often gets overlooked is contamination control. It means ensuring that no harmful bacteria or viruses are floating around your facility that could cause infection for those who come into contact with them. Here are a few tips to control contamination at your healthcare center.
1. Have Provisions for Cleanrooms
A cleanroom is a room that is designed to keep out contaminants. According to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the first cleanrooms were developed in 1962 by Willis Whitfield at Sandia National Laboratories. The goal of the cleanroom was to design environments that could prevent contamination from particles.
Modern healthcare facilities use cleanrooms to create controlled environments for medical procedures and equipment manufacturing. They help protect patients from cross-contamination caused by outside contaminants such as dust and bacteria.
Designing a cleanroom is an art that needs years of experience. It’s essential to have an autoclave in a cleanroom to sterilize equipment and tools that come into contact with blood, body fluids, and other infectious materials.
You should also ensure that the filter used in the cleanroom is a HEPA filter. According to the EPA, a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of mold, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other particles of size less than 0.3 µm.
Although numerous companies manufacture cleanrooms, when choosing one to install a cleanroom in your setting, look for an established brand like American Cleanroom Systems. They have more than 40 years of experience building, certifying, and testing cleanrooms. In addition, the equipment at American Cleanroom Systems is calibrated yearly with NIST standards.
2. Train Employees on Infection Control
The importance of training is crucial to the success of an infection control program. Healthcare workers must understand their role in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for patients and co-workers. Therefore, training should be ongoing, with new employees receiving a thorough orientation covering isolation procedures, hand hygiene techniques, and waste management procedures.
Training should also be tailored to each healthcare worker’s specific job responsibilities. For example, nurses may need more detail about how to administer medications or work with sharps than housekeeping staff would need. Instructors can use this information when developing training materials for specific roles within the healthcare center.
3. Improve the Hygiene of Your Facility
Keep your facilities clean and free from dirt to reduce the risk of infection and contamination. As per NASA, humans release 1 to 30 million particles of size less than 0.3 µm each minute. Therefore, it is crucial not to compromise the hygiene of your facility.
It can be accomplished by regularly mopping the floors, disinfecting all equipment and surfaces, or even hiring an outside company for you.
Setting aside time for cleaning your facility daily will help improve the overall hygiene of your space. While this may seem an inconvenience, it is better than dealing with expensive repairs after something breaks down due to a lack of maintenance.
While cleaning the facility is important, you should also consider the safety of your employees. It includes making sure that there are no open electrical sockets or outlets where people can come into contact with them. You should also ensure that all electrical cords are safely stored out of reach from anyone who might trip on them.
4. Keep Your Staff Healthy
As the leader of your team, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your staff is healthy and well-rested. It means taking care of their physical needs and ensuring they are happy with their job. No one wants to work in a dirty or unsafe environment, so if you have concerns about the cleanliness of your facility, talk with the staff about it.
If nothing changes after a few conversations, consider bringing in outside help, such as an infection control consultant. These experts can assess the facility and provide recommendations for improvement.
5. Monitor and Manage Environmental Contamination
One of the most important things you can do to control contamination in healthcare facilities is to monitor and manage environmental contamination. You can do this by understanding the risks of environmental contamination, what causes them, what consequences they have, and how you can spot them.
Therefore it’s essential that you consider all aspects of monitoring and managing environmental contamination, like how does it work? What are the risks? Who does it involve? How often should it take place? Where should monitoring take place at different times of day/night? What kind(s) of equipment do you need? How often should we check these devices?
Actions taken upon discovering contamination include closing down contaminated areas until disinfected and isolating infected patients who may spread infection through contact with others. In addition, infection is caused by poor hygiene standards, such as a lack of hand washing after visiting toilet cubicles or before food preparation.
6. Review Your Current Treatment Methods
One of the best ways to prevent cross-contamination is to review your current treatment methods. For example, do you use a disinfectant, sanitizer, or surface disinfectant? Have you considered using a surface sanitizer instead of a disinfectant cleaner? These are just some questions to ask yourself as you consider how to treat surfaces in your healthcare center.
While many products on the market can help keep your facility safe from contamination, choosing one that is effective at killing germs is crucial. In addition, they should not harm the patients or staff members.
If you’re unsure about which would work best for your needs, reach out for advice from someone with experience before making any decisions.
7. Equip Your Facility with Proper Disposal
Proper disposal is essential to preventing contamination. You may think that just throwing your medical waste away is good enough, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Infection control begins with properly disposing of waste materials and instruments that can infect patients or cause other infections.
The most important thing to remember when disposing of waste items is to use a disinfectant first. It means spraying the item with an EPA-approved disinfectant before adding it to the trashcan or taking it out for incineration. It’s also a good idea to ensure each employee knows how and where they should dispose of their medical equipment.
Some facilities choose not to use individual containers for every piece of contaminated equipment; it is known as the open-bin methodology. Instead, they put all contaminated materials in one large bin until they are decontaminated and disposed of using means such as incineration or autoclaving.
Follow These Tips for a Safer Environment For Everyone
When working in a healthcare setting, it’s important to ensure that your facilities are clean and safe for everyone who visits. One effective way to do this is by using a checklist. Checklists help ensure that each step of the cleaning process is completed in order.
The healthcare industry has been trying to improve its infection control methods. It is good news for everyone because it will help save lives and keep our communities healthier. However, these tips are just a few ways to lower the risk of spreading germs in your facility.