Disinfection is a crucial component of hospital maintenance. Due to the daily flow of staff, visitors and patients that walk through the door, it’s impossible to stop pathogens from coming into a hospital. However, proper disinfection practices can help prevent pathogens from contributing to patient harm.
Disinfection isn’t a quick fix, but rather, is a facility-wide effort involving multiple steps and processes in order to be effective. It can seem overwhelming, but there are a variety of solutions available that can make the disinfection process more efficient and effective.
Efforts to disinfect can be undermined by a variety of actions and habits. Hand washing, for example, is key to maintaining a germ-free barrier when going in and out of rooms, but it is easy for cleaning staff to forget.
There’s often an assumption among nurses, environmental services, facility managers and cleaning staff that the proper disinfection process is being carried out, even without knowing exactly who is doing what.
For example, some staff see everything within a two-foot radius of the patient, such as call buttons and IVs, as the nurses’ responsibility to clean. Unfortunately, the radius approach isn’t always clear, and critical areas of disinfection can be left untreated due to the misunderstanding of each stakeholder’s roles and responsibilities.
Facility Managers and Environmental Service leaders must ensure all staff using chemical disinfectants know how to mix and disperse the products, and that the process is being adhered to. Whether medical staff or facility management, disinfection is not just one group’s concern. It is the responsibility of many different stakeholders, making it critical each group is involved in the disinfection program and educated on their role.
Disinfection is not just a chemical, but a system of vigilant practices and engaged team members. By utilizing effective disinfection products and putting a facility-wide approach in place, hospitals can break the chain of infection and create a space for treatment that protects patients.
To build an effective disinfection program, contact a 3M sales representative for more information.