What is Antimicrobial Stewardship?

Our clients value our products because we have laced the outer shells with an antimicrobial coating which, in simple terms, prevents harmful microbes from taking root and growing.

This means that it’s far easier to keep the machines free of anything harmful, making them safer to use, it also helps to fight the spread of infectious disease as well.

This is a very good thing, especially when viewed as part of a wider infection control strategy across a ward, wing or entire hospital.

But, as we’ve mentioned in the past, your sluice/dirty utility room solution is one small part of you infection control strategy.

Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics) to improve patient outcomes, prevent (or reduce) microbial resistance and prevent the spread of infectious disease.

Why is it Important?

The world is a number of growing health concerns. The nature of some infectious diseases, like Ebola, the zika virus and malaria continue to challenge the global medical community both in terms of containment and cure.

The migration of infectious diseases  around the globe and the impact that is having on populations who have (a) no natural immunity and (b) no treatments readily available is proving a growing concern for health organisations.

On top of these challenges, the overuse of antimicrobials (such as antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral treatments) is becoming a major public health concern. Infections are adapting to antimicrobials at a prodigious rate. Far faster than the pharmaceuticals industry can come up with new medications.

Individuals infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are put at far greater risk, especially if they are elderly, infirm or if they have a weakened immune system.

They also tend to be in hospital for longer, putting others at greater risk of cross contamination as well as the increased cost/burden on the health service in question.

What Does This Mean?

Quite a lot.

Antimicrobial-resistant infections are a disaster for care homes and hospitals. They are a disaster not only in terms of the impact on the patient or the resident but represent a significant increase in care and costs.  Most importantly, they put clinicians at significant risk or long term and debilitating infection.

As we’ve talked about in the past, clinicians who are rundown, with a diminished immune system are at far greater risk of contracting an infection.

Under these conditions, a clinician could be taken seriously ill, putting further strain on wards and budgets. Not to mention the extended recovery time or returning to work prematurely only to fall ill a second time.

What can be Done?

As one would expect, there are a number of approaches facilities can take to limit the impact of infection and control the spread should it occur:

  • New guidelines are being used to reduce the use of antimicrobials (antibiotics etc.) especially in the young and elderly.
  • Sampling is now widely encouraged to better understand the type of microbe before a treatment is recommended. This is even more important if the patient has a history of antimicrobial use.
  • Prescriptions should also be monitored in correlation to outbreaks of antimicrobial-resistant diseases both within the facility and the local community.
  • Developing alternative treatments is an obvious solution but this can take years before human trials begin.
  • Robust and strictly observed infection control strategies.

This last point is especially important and comes back to the part in which we play. The right processes, the right training, the right protection methods all backed up by the right technology significantly reduces the risk of infectious disease.

Providing clinicians with a means to safely and effectively to dispose of any and all infectious material makes containment far more effective, reducing risk to patients and clinicians alike.

Contact us today to learn more about our technology and our sluice/dirty utility design service.