Hospital hygiene standards are arguably the most important hygiene standards.
After all, nobody wants to go into hospital for treatment and come out with a major virus or illness.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, in a single year, over 1.7 million hospital-caused infections led to or contributed to 99,000 deaths.
In the UK in 2007 alone, this number was 9,000 according to the National Audit Office.
Hygiene in hospitals is, therefore, a major area of concern for hospital administration and management teams, and there are a variety of standards and policies that have to be maintained in order to ensure hospitals are safe clinical environments.
Let’s take a look at them:
Hospital Hygiene Supplies
Hospital hygiene supplies are varied, broad and require constant reliable supply chains. From hand sanitiser and equipment sterilisation tools to disinfectant and surgical scrubs, hospitals need to know that they have immediate access to everything at all times so that they can focus on saving lives instead of chasing down equipment.
The key to this is to work with a reliable provider of supplies and healthcare consumables in order to ensure a constant, non-invasive supply without any disruption, either to deliveries, things like sharps disposal and hygienic waste collection, or to day to day operations within the hospital.
Whereas things like this can be managed well internally, hospital porters are almost always busy with spillages, bodily fluids, moving patients around and more.
Hospital Hygiene Policy
Hospital hygiene policy is of course, just as important as being fully supplied.
Hand hygiene is a crucial part of this, and all hospitals provide free, plentiful hand sanitiser, as well as mandating that all staff must use it between patients. Not only are staff expected to ensure their own hand hygiene, but they are encouraged to ensure visitors do the same.
At times, hand hygiene may even need to be performed in between tasks focused on the same patient. We would highly recommend checking out our guide on how to wash your hands properly in the workplace.
In addition to ensuring staff and visitors take the proper handwashing procedures, hospitals also need to ensure either the constant availability of paper hand towels or the use of other hand drying equipment such as air dryers which are commonly thought to be more hygienic.
Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control
At the end of the day, this is what it all comes down to.
Hospitals are full of sick people with various illnesses, viruses and diseases, often all cramped up into highly concentrated areas.
They need to be in a place of healing and recovery, but without the proper infection control procedures, they would rapidly devolve into the complete opposite, with a high risk of infection for anybody who entered the building.
Healthcare waste is a reservoir of pathogenic microorganisms and needs to be treated as such.
Whereas some tasks undertaken by hospital staff are considered more risky and infectious than others, tests have found bacteria present on the hands of healthcare workers after tasks that are considered clean, such as simply taking blood pressure or checking a pulse. This goes to show just how all-encompassing the risk is.
Unfortunately, compliance with these policies is not what they should be. Visitors who don’t visit hospitals often likely disregard them in most instances, perhaps not quite understanding the potential risks they are exposing themselves and others to.
Even healthcare workers can often forget this, especially if they are rushed off their feet, and with NHS funding at an all-time low, when is this not the case?
Healthcare Hygiene Services & Hospital Consumables
At phs, we understand that hospital managers and administrators have more immediately pressing concerns than this.
These services are 100% compliant with all relevant regulations and our staff are well accustomed to entering the building, carrying out their daily tasks, and leaving without any interruption whatsoever.
Free up your team to focus on more important things, and rest assured knowing the hygiene requirements of your hospital environment are handled.
Everything can be tailored to your specific requirements, from waste collection schedules to consumables, refilling and more.
Hygiene management has been a thorn in the side of healthcare for decades, but it doesn’t need to be!