Hospitals have a strict cleaning and disinfection schedule that is followed rigorously. In addition, sensitive areas such as OTs, critical care rooms and ERs receive special attention by the cleaning crews.
However, this process has two significant shortcomings that often undo the efforts of the cleaning and janitorial staff. These shortcomings are very relevant to hospital settings and are a common occurrence in all hospitals.
The first of these shortcomings is the spills and general messes that happen all the time in any hospital. They are not restricted to just nurses’ station or the wards. Spills are very common occurrences in labs where chemicals and even patients’ samples have been known to crash to ground.
During day hours, cleaning staff is on standby to deal wit these issues. They are quick to mop up the mess and disinfect the area using the standard hospital strength chemicals. In many cases, these disinfectants and cleaning compounds have a large quantity of bleach in them.
The second shortcoming of the cleaning rituals of hospitals is the constant threat of cross-infection from medical equipment. This is no imaginary scenario. Shared medical equipment such as ECG machines and stethoscopes has been known to start cross-infection that usually takes an ugly turn. Patients already have a weakened immune system that simply could not cope with another infection. The result is that instead of getting better, patients are worse off after every round of the nursing staff.
Both these shortcomings could not be adders by changes to the cleaning schedule of the hospital. Given the size and traffic received, a hospital’s cleaning staff is barely able to cope with once a day cleaning and disinfecting rounds. For a busy hospital with a number of operations scheduled and a very active ER, it is difficult to keep the threat of cross-infection at bay.
So how could hospitals plug this gap?
Antibacterial wipes are the best solution for this problem. The wipes are inexpensive so will not burden the already stretched resources of the hospital. The nursing staff and the patients themselves could use them with no prior training.
There is a rising trend of placing Antibacterial wipes at strategic locations in the hospitals. The most obvious places where these wipes could be found are the nursing stations, entrances to wards and by shared medical equipment. In several instances, there is a wipes dispenser in every office in the hospital.
Antibacterial wipes are essential in containing spills. In the case of minor spills, these wipes are enough to contain and cleanup the mess. Larger spills could be contained so that the cleaning crews do not have to deal with a large cleanup job.
Antibacterial wipes are also great in reducing the incidences of cross-equipment infection. An ample supply of wipers beside the equipment station would encourage the nursing staff to wipe things off between patients. In fact, this has entered into the official SOPs of many hospitals. This simple precaution is enough to reduce the chances of cross contamination significantly.