It is an unfortunate fact that hospitals, the place where we go to improve our health, are often the place where people are most likely to pick up an infection. This is not a new development, and, indeed, infection control has been high on the list of priorities for the NHS in England for the last 15 years. In this period much progress has been made, with the introduction of modern tools, cleaning techniques, and a heightened awareness of the importance of personal hygiene in hospitals, helping to reduce incidences of MRSA bloodstream infections (BSIs) and Clostridium difficile infection.
Nevertheless, with 1 in 25 patients still picking up hospital-acquired infections, it is clear that UK hospitals still face a significant challenge when it comes to infection control. Infections can delay the recovery of hospital patients, and can even prove fatal in some cases. Additionally, infections are a significant financial burden to an already overstretched NHS.
So what can UK hospitals do to ensure that those challenges are met? At Trovex, our main area of expertise is in the healthcare industry and supplying a wide range of solutions that can help to fight this ongoing challenge, so in our latest blog we explore this complex question.
The Challenge Posed by Visitors
One of the most effective infection control measures a hospital can implement is to ensure that all hospital staff are educated on the dangers of infections, and are trained in how to avoid bringing these into the hospital. Such controls can be measured as to their efficacy, and have proved effective in the past in reducing the spread of infections in hospitals. However, applying the same level of control to hospital visitors is quite another matter, and is a challenge that has yet to be overcome.
Visitors can introduce infections into hospitals in a variety of ways, and are often unaware that they are doing so. The key to overcoming this is to inform and educate visitors on the bacteria they are carrying with them into hospitals, and to provide adequate provisions for them to disinfect their hands.
The Challenge Posed by Hygiene
Despite the advances in infection control awareness in hospitals among healthcare professionals, there is still some work to be done to ensure compliance across the board. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently highlighted that basic hygiene protocols were being overlooked by some health professionals, placing patient safety at risk.
Commenting on the report, Professor Gillian Leng, director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said that
“It is unacceptable that infection rates are still so high within the NHS. Infections are a costly and avoidable burden. They hinder a patient's recovery, can make underlying conditions worse, and reduce quality of life.”
The bugs (microbes) and bacteria which can lead to infections are easily spread by touch. These can be picked up from contaminated surfaces or objects and then passed on to other people. A simple but highly effective solution to hygiene control is to install hygienic wall cladding that offers antimicrobial properties to fight germs on surfaces where bacteria breeds quickly and circulates freely. Trovex' patented Activ:ion wall cladding has been proven in the most demanding health environments, such as operating theatres and other infection-controlled areas. It comprehensively outperforms other wall finishes including stainless steel, reducing viable microbes by up to 99.9%, including dangerous bacteria like Streptococcus faecalis, Salmonella typhimurium and MRSA making it the natural choice for hospitals.
This type of protection is imperative because whilst healthy people may have a strong defence against this type of everyday bacteria, hospital patients, who often have low immune systems, can be more susceptible to them.
Of course, to avoid the spread of infection in UK hospitals, effective hand decontamination is also crucial. This should be done either with soap and water, or with the alcohol-based hand rubs which are found throughout modern hospitals. These simple steps can help us all to reduce avoidable infections in hospitals.
How we can help in the fight for hospital hygiene...
Here at Trovex, we are experienced in providing attractive and hygienic finishes for the healthcare sector. We provide a complete package of products, including the innovative Hygipod and Hygidoor, which help to vastly improve hygiene standards within the healthcare environment. Email us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly on 01707 254 170 to discuss what we can do for you.