The general public has never been more aware of handwashing, thanks to the COVID pandemic. We all got a glimpse into the world of the healthcare worker as we washed our hands or used hand sanitizer every time we left a store or got home. Healthcare workers live this life daily, with protocols set to remind them to take every handwashing opportunity in an effort to protect patients (and themselves) from disease. In today's post, we will explore how the pandemic impacted hand washing, called hand hygiene, during the pandemic and beyond. Did the pandemic increase or decrease hand hygiene?
Think back to the last time you or a loved one was a patient in a hospital or healthcare facility. What things do you remember most? Is it the stress about health and recovery? Maybe you remember the frustration of trying to get answers or understanding what was going on? Or perhaps you remember a constant worry about whether the hospital was clean enough to prevent an infection? If any or all of these are familiar, you are not alone. A recent study investigated what patients consider the most important aspects of a quality hospital, and as this post will reveal, how infection prevention is their top concern.
Overbed tables are essential in patient rooms. They serve as a surface for food trays, and can hold personal items such as phones, computers, or books. Even healthcare workers uses overbed tables for holding medical devices or supplies. All this usage means one thing: Overbed tables are one of the most-touched and most-contaminated surfaces in a patient room.
Today's hospital beds are a product of 1800s innovation, steadily improving with each decade's advancements in health care, engineering, and technology. Patient beds today not only provide a place for rest and recuperation, they can actually improve patient outcomes and prevent medical complications. In today's post, we'll look at some of those improvements and suggest directions for the future.
In last week's post, we explored the overlap between architectural principles in the AIA's Framework for Design Excellence. Today, we will look at the foundational components of architectural design and how they overlap with designing with infection control in mind.
Each year, thousands of buildings, including many healthcare facilities, are entered into architecture award programs, hoping to be recognized as the best the field has to offer. These entries are judged according to the accepted standards of modern architecture, which go beyond simple form and function. Healthcare facilities must not only meet these architectural standards, but dozens of regulatory standards along with many unique constraints in order to meet the needs of their target populations. In today's post, we'll look at how healthcare architects who include infection prevention in their planning help their projects align with the highest standards of their industry.
Projects to improve the patient's environment are critical to optimizing patient outcomes. Getting rid of moisture-trapping materials, opening rooms up to natural light, and installation of biocidal materials to kill bacteria are all important construction projects for today's medical facility. Construction, however, comes with its own risks which must be anticipated. The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) released an updated Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA 2.0) tool, the result of several years of expert collaboration. The tool is a 4-step process to guide healthcare facilities on how to mitigate infection risk during maintenance or construction projects. In today's post, we will highlight 7 improvements to the new tool, and implications for the infection preventionists tasked with supervising their implementation.
Mental health facilities, including behavioral health and addiction treatment centers, present unique challenges to infection control. While most residents may not require the invasive surgery or indwelling devices most associated with hospital-acquired infections, these patients remain vulnerable to these preventable conditions. In today's post, we'll explore 6 challenges faced by infection control professionals in a mental health setting.
We all experienced a huge learning curve thanks to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The general public learned about infection control, sanitation, and PPE. Medical professionals learned about transmission rates, symptoms, treatment plans and pharmaceutical interventions. We need to ride this wave of intense learning into the "next normal," living and working in a world which still has hospital-associated infections that will continue to claim the lives of patients if we don't stop them. Here are 8 ways we can make sure we don't lose momentum as we move into the future.