Five Ways to Prevent Cross-Contamination in Healthcare Settings

cross-contamination in healthcare

Healthcare facilities could be considered one of the yuckiest places around when you think about all the germs and potentially harmful bacteria that float through certain facilities. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 25 hospital patients will contract a hospital-acquired infection (HAI). Cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of HAIs, accounting for an estimated 40% of all such infections.

Although doctors, nurses, and other front-line staff do the best they can in controlling “the yuck,” there is still a chance for cross-contamination every single day. So, let’s dive in and explore some tangible ways to prevent cross-contamination and demonstrate maximum patient care.

First off, what is cross-contamination?

Cross-contamination is a serious issue in healthcare. It occurs when bacteria or other microorganisms are transferred from one person to another, or from one object to another. This can happen through direct contact, or indirectly through contaminated surfaces or objects. Cross-contamination can lead to serious infections, which is why this is such a top concern for healthcare workers who expose themselves to the risk with each and every shift.

Five Ways to Combat Cross-Contamination 

1. Give germs the hand

Those stickers on the mirror reminding you to wash your hands in a public restroom? They are legit. Proper hand hygiene is a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. If soap and water aren’t readily available, be sure to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby and wear gloves as much as you can.

DID YOU KNOW? The CDC recommends that healthcare workers wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after every patient contact.

2. Suit up with proper PPE

It may seem obvious, but there’s never been a more important time to make sure your personal protective equipment is high-quality and durable. Colds, viruses, and flus are at their highest during the fall/winter time—and that’s not even taking into consideration the risk of bodily fluid splashes from messy surgeries. So whether it’s gloves, gowns, masks, or other—ensure you are stocked up and ready to go.

Infection control starts with proper PPE—and PPE is only effective when properly put on. Watch this video for a reminder of how to suit up superbly. Then, request a free sample of the Sloan Medical PPE product of your choice to pair proper donning with the best PPE a surgeon or nurse could ever ask for.  

3. Keep it (constantly) clean

Hospitals are known for having stringent environmental cleaning protocols. Constantly cleaning and sanitizing every nook and cranny is one of the only ways healthcare facilities can prevent the spread of germs. 

4. Put some care in the air

Air filtration systems in healthcare settings are typically topnotch. For instance, hospitals use powerful air filtration systems to remove contaminants from the air. This helps to create a cleaner environment for everyone in the hospital. Wearing a mask also creates an additional layer of safe breathing. 

5. Have a plan

A healthcare system should have a set of guidelines that are followed in order to reduce the risk of transmission of infection. These standards of precaution include guides on things like proper hand hygiene, using personal protective equipment, and how to properly dispose of hazardous waste and other potentially infectious materials.

Quick List: Stop the spread of infections and improve patient safety by:

• Carefully handling and disposal of sharps

• Using dedicated medical equipment for each patient, then properly disposing of it

• Placing patients infected with a contagious disease in an isolation room away from others

• Creating dedicated quarantine areas if there is a breakout of a disease or illness

Sloan Medical helps prevent cross-contamination in hospitals

We know hospitals, surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities are constantly trying to protect staff and patients from cross-contamination. That’s why our products are designed to help prevent cross-contamination by using antimicrobial materials that help prevent the growth of bacteria and viruses. We also offer products that are designed to be used in isolation rooms and other areas where cross-contamination is a concern.

It’s important to promote a culture of safety among staff and patients when you work in a healthcare setting. The time is now to protect your staff with high-quality PPE.

Try the PPE everyone’s talking about.

Finally, PPE to keep surgeons and nurses dry and safe during surgery.

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