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Medical offices and emergency rooms see hundreds of patients daily. With so many pathogens floating around in the air and on contact surfaces, it’s not surprising that sick patients or visitors become sick from being at a hospital or medical office. Sitting in waiting areas with contagious patients, being exposed to sickness in exam rooms can cause pathogens to spread faster.
So, how do medical offices like emergency rooms, dental offices, outpatient offices stop the spread of infections? How do they combat illnesses? Infection and pathogen control require a strong plan of attack, diligence and attention to detail. Here are 5 ways to stop the spread of pathogens.
According to the (CDC) Center For Disease Control, about one in twenty-five patients get at least one (HAI) health-associated infection on any given day. Our goal together is to stop the spread but also take the necessary steps towards keeping facilities clean, sanitized and disinfected as required.
Reducing the spread first starts with keeping your environment clean. Crowded waiting rooms which sick people sit in need to be disinfected often daily to mitigate germs. While our or your staff clean, make sure they keep accurate records of how often and what they cleaned throughout the day.
Medical equipment in any setting improperly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected can also increase the spread of germs and bacteria. Most common HAI’s include surgical sites for patients. To ensure that patients and staff are protected from infections, you need to sterilize all equipment before and after use. This also includes the tables, chairs, lights, etc., that a doctor or nurse might touch during a procedure.
Handwashing is the first line of defense in combatting HAI’s. Wash your hand often with warm water and soap throughout the day. Wash before and after treating each patient. Proper hand hygiene will cut down on pathogens traveling from one person to another.
Patients that enter your building sick displaying a cough or flu-like symptoms should be separated from other patients as quickly as possible. It’s crucial that sick patients are provided with a mask to reduce the spread of water droplets and infecting other people in their surroundings.
Facility Managers must ensure that healthcare workers are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE). Nurses and doctors should have liquid resistance gowns, facemasks, gloves and protective eyewear so they can safely treat patients.