Infection control solutions are a vital component in any facilities efforts to keep patients or residents safe against a harmful outbreak of disease.
A properly equipped, well designed sluice/dirty utility room provides a nexus against the spread of infection – especially when a robust infection control policy is written around it.
Where sluice/dirty utility rooms differ is the technology that goes into them.
There are strong cases for opting for one type of machine over another.
There are some who fear the pulp macerator will block causing major harm to both patients and the facility.
Whereas reusable bedpans often need to go through a second disinfection cycle in order to get them fully clean. There is also a question of the time-temperature cycle that can result in a great deal of downtime.
In most instances a hospital or care home will equip their sluice/dirty utility room with either a bedpan washer or pulp macerator, but increasingly hospitals and care homes are starting to install both.
This may seem like infection control overkill but the reasons for ‘doubling up’ are quite simple:
Need, purpose and preference.
Depending on the kind of facility you operate within, your needs will be very different. Circumstance and demand may well dictate whether you opt for one solution or another.
In environments where there are few beds and/or a low risk of infection, a bedpan washer provides a perfectly suitable solution. However, the reality is that majority of facilities will have multiple beds, varying levels of demand and with it varying levels of risk.
At the other end of the scale, large busy wards with potentially infectious patients require a more robust solution that can cope with the demand that brings.
However, because some diseases are heat resistant and therefore could survive the disinfection cycle, a pulp bedpan is the logical – and safer – option.
Equally during high demand periods such as an outbreak, a pulp macerator allows clinicians to dispose of infectious material quickly and then return to their duties.
Defining how you want to use your sluice/dirty utility solution to work is important. The main advantage of a dual machine provision is you have the flexibility to meet your patients’ needs no matter the circumstances.
Depending on the nature of an individual’s care a traditional bedpan (and therefore bedpan washer) is a perfectly acceptable day to day solution. Impact is low and time to handling ratios aren’t a factor.
With the associated problems with reusable bedpans, the particularly vulnerable are more at risk so a pulp bedpan is a safer option.
Not to mention those times when, despite best efforts, an infectious disease does make it into your facility, a single use solution is far more effective at containing it and reducing risk to other patients or residents.
A key benefit to having a pulp macerator alongside your bedpan washer is that you have the capacity to cope with busy days or outbreaks. It saves clinicians time so they can focus on looking after the patients or residents.
Best practice suggests that patients and residents should be given as much freedom of choice as possible in order to retain dignity and have influence over their care.
Equally some people simply may not like metal bedpans because they can stick or a pulp bedpan because they appear too flimsy – regardless of the reality.
Whilst it may seem trivial to most, giving an individual the option helps them feel like they have a modicum of control over what’s happening to them.
If they are suffering from a severe illness or are especially infirm, that small concession can make a big difference.
Ensuring patients and residents feel listened to and respected is an important part of care.
DDC Dolphin provide world leaders in infection control solutions. To discuss the benefits of dual machines in your sluice/dirty utility rooms contact us today.