Hospitals Boost Hygiene Practices To Fight Superbugs
Hospitals and health systems are ramping up hygiene standards to help curb healthcare associated infections (HAIs). According to The Wall Street Journal, healthcare facilities are focusing on hospital fixtures most likely to spread contamination along with the standard protocols and constant efforts to improve staff hand hygiene. Bed railings, wheelchairs, IV pumps and stethoscopes are among the areas getting extra focus.
Examples of heightened hygiene practices include:
Stamford (Conn.) Health has prioritized "environmental hygiene" on items such as telephones, call buttons, IV poles and stethoscopes, but their biggest focus is on computer keyboards. The 305-bed, nonprofit facility now has a computer in every patient room so the staff isn’t taking potentially germy computers from room to room.
The Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., is using copper to fight superbugs. Sentara installed copper countertops, bed rails, bed tables and other furniture. It also began using copper-infused linens, including patient gowns, bed sheets, towels and washcloths.
Grinnell Regional Medical Center in Grinnell, Iowa, was among the first US hospitals to install solid antimicrobial copper surfaces as an infection-control measure.
Grinnell installed antimicrobial copper touch surfaces throughout its facilities as an addition to existing infection prevention and control measures. Items upgraded include sinks and taps, over-bed tables, IV drip poles, keyboards, door and cupboard handles, dispenser levers and electrical sockets.
UCLA Health (Los Angeles) attempted to turn two neonatal intensive care units into "handshake-free zones" in 2015. The campaign didn’t catch on, but the NICUs still have signs showing a crossed-out handshake.
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