What Are Nosocomial Infections and HAIs?
The terms “nosocomial infection” and Hospital Acquired Infections are basically the same concept. This type of infection occurs when an individual goes to a medical facility (clinic, hospital, etc.) with an injury or non-life threatening condition and become infected with a disease or contagion due to unsanitary practices or conditions. Although reports differ, approximately 90,000 – 110,000 patients die each year from nosocomial infections.
My guess is that approximately 30,000 of those fatalities were due to poor housekeeping practices. If you have a more accurate data please share it with me. The rest of the infections are due to medical practitioners (nurses, doctors, staff) who do not follow correct protocols allowing contagions to be transmitted. Finally, there is the possibility of airborne transmission that can be a serious factor in some environments. If you can imagine a person sneezing once or more in the waiting room with others present you get the idea.
In the next few articles, we will review some of the basics of preventing or reducing the transmission of diseases. Let’s start with touch points. If you service a doctor’s office or clinic, look around the waiting room for items that should be disinfected or at least sanitized each visit. Following is a partial list that should get you started:
1.Door handle/push plate entering office
2.Counter area and the ubiquitous ink pen to sign in and make payments
3.Chair arm rests
5.Toys for kids to play with
6.Public rest room touch points including door handle, soap dispensers, paper towels, flush handles and …….
We will continue with our survey in next article. Please note that the death rate does not capture how many patients became ill or suffered from complications from nosocomial infections without dying. If you know that number please share it with us.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.