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Crucial hospital hygiene standards to follow

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Behram Khodaiji, Jt. Chief Executive Officer, Masina Hospital talks about the importance of maintaining hygiene standards in hospitals

Management of health-care waste is a crucial part of the overall hospital hygiene. Health-care waste is no less than a reservoir of pathogenic microorganisms, leading to contamination and infections within the premises. If hospital waste is managed in a compromised manner, these microorganisms can get transmitted through various direct and indirect means. Hence, Infectious waste contributes to the elevated risk of nosocomial infections, putting the health of everyone from hospital staff to patients and visitors at risk.

To avoid this situation, a lot of attention is paid to guarantee that cleanliness and hygiene is maintained across the entire range of medical services. Proper processes are in place so that a continuous improvement program and seamless flow of efficiency in hygiene and sanitation is enabled. For a hospital, it’s an absolute necessity to have essential systems in place that oversee the maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene.

A system to guaranty that the hygiene standards of the hospital and its surroundings are maintained with regular checks and reviews as necessitated. Sanitisation establishments must be freely accessible through any point in the hospital. Patients and their relatives must be educated on cleanliness and hygiene protocols to ensure keeping the hygiene standards in check.

Environmental cleaning: Deep cleaning and disinfection has to be carried out on a regular ground with a system in place to maintain the benchmark hygiene levels on real time basis (e.g., bed rails, mattresses, call buttons, chairs etc.) and surfaces of non-critical patient care equipment such as IV poles, stethoscopes).

Regular Water and Air sampler is to be done as per Infection Control Standards. Frequent internal audits of PPE, Hand hygiene, and waste handling systems has to be carried out to guaranty that utmost care is taken to maintain the paraphernalia, so that their use delivers results as per the hygiene standards. Cleaning checklists must be adhered at all relevant points and the data must be recorded and surveyed periodically to keep tabs on sanitisation processes.

Drainage Cleaning has to be carried out on periodic basis to avoid overflow of washrooms in addition to ensuring adequate water supply at all times for cleanliness of washrooms. Disinfectants must be used for various waste management processes. Daily deep cleaning of all areas and careful dusting must be carried out about thrice in a day. Daily disposal of waste with proper segregation and weighing has to be done.

Daily laundry for linen and sterilisation for infectious patients has to be done. The laundry is washed in the specified water temperature.  Daily disinfection is done for patient utensils. Daily clearance of waste storage facilities and their subsequent sanitisation must be carried out

Initiatives that need to be taken towards waste disposal efficiency: – 

Bio-medical waste [BMW] management and segregation of waste generated through treatment procedures of chronic and contagious illnesses has to be carried out as per government guidelines. Display Posters need to be put up for BMW management and segregation. Waste disposable has to be done as per WHO and CDC guidelines and data maintenance has to be done every day for the same. Anti-fungal paint must be applied at BMW storage area. Weighing machine installed for Waste Management protocols must be in place for constant improvement in the efficiency of the system.

Superior quality sharps containers must be used for disposing used needle and sharps devices to eliminate needle stick injuries. Staff must be trained for segregation of waste, different color waste bins must be kept for different waste, as per NABH guidelines. A comprehensive, corporate approach to managing medical equipment should be overseen by a responsible lead, to ensure that appropriate medical equipment is available and fit-for-purpose, as required for the delivery of high-quality clinical services.

The processes set for the cleaning staff to maintain the standards: – 

National standards for hospital and healthcare must be followed. Usage of standardised gloves, masks, PPE suits must be carried out as per IPC guidelines and risk management protocols. Training and awareness programs for usage of various PPE kits, disinfectants etc. must be delivered to staff on periodic basis. Education on Hand hygiene techniques used for patient handling, procedures etc. must be delivered on a periodic basis. Fumigation has to be done monthly in non-critical areas and in critical areas every week. Personal hygiene training for all staff has to be in process every week. Personal grooming standards of staff have to be ensured as per protocol. Kitchen staff has to be medically checked as per guidelines prescribed for food handlers. Daily Supervision on cleanliness has to be provided by housekeeping and nursing Team.

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