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hygiene in hospitals

The Importance Of Hygiene In Hospitals

by Martha Simmonds
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A hospital should feel safe, both to the patients it treats and the staff who work there. One vital aspect of this is ensuring it is clean and hygienic to prevent the spread of disease and reduce the likelihood of infections.

The responsibility of maintaining a hygienic hospital lies with the management team, in line with the National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness. From providing hygiene training to conducting risk assessments, there are a range of things hospital management can do to keep the hospital safe for everyone involved.

Let’s investigate the importance of hygiene in hospitals.

The risks of hygiene being overlooked in a hospital

Poor hygiene increases the risk of bacteria growth or spread of disease, which can have devastating consequences in a hospital environment. Many patients in hospital have weakened immune systems, and this makes it harder for their bodies to fight an infection or illness.

As patients who are immuno-compromised are less likely to survive an infection or secondary illness, it’s imperative to keep hospitals clean and hygienic to reduce the risk of spreading diseases or causing complications to a patient’s existing condition.

Not only does poor hygiene affect the health and wellbeing of patients, but it will also have a significant impact on the reputation of the hospital trust.

If a patient suffers as a result of poor hospital hygiene, they or their loved ones may make a negligence claim against the trust which could have severe consequences for those at fault.

Here, we explore what hospital management can do to ensure the hospital remains hygienic and safe for patients and staff.

Hygiene education

All staff working in the hospital should be aware of the risks associated with poor hygiene and what must be done to prevent it. Regular hygiene safety training should be provided for anyone working closely with patients or medical equipment.

This training should also be attended by management, who should assess the hygiene risks in each area of the hospital and make adjustments as required to prevent a hygiene related incident.

Sanitising and equipment

Handwashing and sanitising is a crucial aspect of maintaining good hygiene in hospitals, so ensure handwashing facilities and hand sanitisers are available and easily accessible for staff at all times.

All medical instruments must be cleaned appropriately to remove dangerous bacteria and ensure they are safe for the next patient. Ultrasonic cleaners are ideal for ensuring thorough cleaning of hospital equipment and instruments. Read more about ultrasonic cleaners here.

Bedding and linens

Keeping all bedding clean is another important step in keeping a hospital hygienic. Hospital staff should change the sheets and bedding on each bed regularly and between each patient.

All bedding and linens must be treated effectively and washed at a high temperature to ensure any bacteria or germs are killed.

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