The 16th to 20th October is National Infection Control Week in Canada.
Infection Control Week is intended to raise awareness of the importance of effective infection control methods and best practices but also to review new methods and technologies that can give us the edge in our fight against infection.
Educational institutes across the country are holding awareness weeks including seminars and lectures on new infectious diseases and how to combat them.
The day is a good opportunity for medical facilities to reflect on their infection control policy and challenge themselves on whether or not they are doing all they can to protect patients and safeguard clinicians.
With new strains of super bug such as carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) killing 40-50% of those who become infected, it is more important than ever those outbreaks are minimised or rapidly contained should they occur.
Here are our top 3 focuses for improving infection control in a hospital or care home setting.
1. Simulate Outbreaks
We appreciate that hospitals never stop and ‘running drills’ isn’t always easy but it is worth setting aside some time to test small groups of your clinicians on what they should do in the event of an outbreak.
Reviewing everything from enhanced protection measures to hand hygiene protocols ensures that everyone knows what the minimum standard is and exactly what’s required of them.
Moreover it highlights where the process falls down or where improvements can be made in a safe setting. After all, it’s far better that any weaknesses by highlighted when lives aren’t at risk.
2. Review best Practice
With new threats and new ideas we have the opportunity to take stock of how we operate and whether or not the methods that we considered to be best practice still hold up.
It gives you the chance to review processes and make changes.
There is also benefit to assessing current infection control technologies compared to new innovations.
With the rise of new super bugs more extreme measures are needed in order to prevent outbreaks and keep patients safe.
In addition to making sure you sluice/dirty utility room technology is both up to date and well maintained, looking at new technologies such as ultraviolent germicidal irradiation.
With so many infections immune to antibiotics there has never been a better time to adopt a fresh approach.
3. Planned Preventative Maintenance
Your sluice/dirty utility room is the foundation upon which a good infection control policy is built. In the event of an infectious patient being brought onto the ward or an outbreak occurring, the sluice/dirty utility room performs a vital function.
Ensuring your pulp macerators or bedpan washers are running at 100% efficiency not only helps to keep people safe but eases pressure on the clinicians as they can use the equipment knowing it won’t fail.
Moreover regular maintenance has been proven to not only significantly reduce the chances of a breakdown – thus preventing blockages – but extends the life of the machine itself, helping budgets go further.
Along with educational and clinical institutes across Canada we are working to devise new technologies and products to provide an effective defence against infection.
DDC Dolphin actively works with hospitals and care homes to deliver the best solutions possible to keep their patients and residents safe.