Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) are a significant concern, affecting one in 25 patients daily in U.S. hospitals. HAIs not only escalate healthcare costs but also lead to severe health consequences, including fatalities. Let’s tackle the simple ways and recommendations provided by The World Health Organization (WHO) on how to control cross-infection in hospitals.
Through this article, we will discuss some of the standard control guidelines provided by WHO to prevent cross-infection in hospitals and highlight the significance of each step. Additionally, we’ll explore innovative solutions, such as temporary wall systems, designed to meet ICRA Class V standards. These ensure uninterrupted healthcare operations during renovations and enhance infection control by containing dust and airborne particles.
To safeguard patients and healthcare staff, following simple guidelines is paramount in preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). Here are ways on how to control cross infection in hospitals:
Proper hand washing is crucial for reducing HAIs. Encourage everyone in the facility, including staff and visitors, to wash hands thoroughly before eating, drinking, after using the bathroom, and after any interaction with a patient. Using soap and water for at least 20 seconds is considered the most effective handwashing practice.
Provide and use isolation-appropriate protective equipment, including waterproof gowns, gloves, shoe covers, face shields, and masks. Ensure this gear is readily available, especially when dealing with areas that have patients with contagious illnesses.
While working in a hospital, workers should wear gloves while setting up walls whenever there’s a possibility of contact with blood or bodily fluids.
Thoroughly clean the areas in the facility with a bleach-containing cleanser between jobs. This helps prevent accidental transmission of infections.
When designing new or renovated hospital facilities, prioritize infection control by implementing temporary wall systems that meet ICRA Class IV standards to fully isolate dust and airborne particles.
There are many routes of cross infection transmission, but the most common is direct contact transmission. Let’s explore each of the routes of cross infection transmission below:
Transmission through direct contact occurs when an individual comes into direct physical contact with the tissues or fluids of an infected person. Microorganisms can be transferred and enter through mucous membranes (such as eyes or mouth), open wounds, or damaged skin. Inoculation may also happen through bites or scratches.
Aerosol transmission involves the movement of pathogens through very small particles or droplet nuclei, which can be inhaled by a vulnerable host or settle on mucous membranes or surfaces. This transmission method occurs through everyday actions like breathing, coughing, sneezing, or talking by an infected person and during various medical procedures like suctioning, bronchoscopy, dentistry, and inhalation anesthesia.
Ingesting pathogenic organisms can occur through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Common sources of environmental contamination include exudates, feces, urine, or saliva.
In fomite transmission, inanimate objects contaminated by an infected individual can transmit pathogens upon contact with a susceptible animal or human. Examples of fomites include various items such as examination tables, cages, kennels, medical equipment, environmental surfaces, and clothing.
Vectors are living organisms that transfer pathogenic microorganisms to other animals or areas, comprising arthropod vectors like mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, rodents, and other vermin. In regions with a year-round presence of these pests, vector-borne transmission becomes a significant pathway, especially when an infested patient brings them into practice.
It’s essential to be aware that numerous animal diseases are zoonotic, presenting a risk to both the healthcare team and clients. These agents can be transmitted through the same five routes described earlier. Zoonotic pathogens such as Microsporum, Leptospira, Campylobacter, and Bartonella are noteworthy examples.
Utilizing anterooms and cleanrooms, hospitals can effectively control cross-contamination and infection. Learn more about the superior infection control benefits of our temporary wall systems. Contact us now for a personalized quote to enhance the safety of your healthcare environment with our airtight containment solutions.