Maintaining a Germ-free Environment in the Medical Setting
When a person contracts an illness or experiences a wound, it is important to prevent the transfer of those microbes from that patient to other patients or guests and from the patient to physicians, nurses, office cleaning and janitorial staff working in the facility. Bacteria, viruses and parasites from a patient can be spread to other people and objects within the facility if proper precautions are not followed. Recent innovations in medical technology and equipment, such as antimicrobial medical casters, help office and facility managers prevent the transfer of microbes.
Culturing Patients With Active Infections
Culturing patients with active infections is an important step in reducing germ transfers. It is important to know what you are dealing with when it comes to bacteria, viruses and parasites. Culturing identifies the organism and what antimicrobial agents it is resistant to. When providers are aware of the microbes in the environment, they can take appropriate action to halt their transfer. For example, staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of skin infections, strep throat and impetigo. It is often resistant to multiple antibiotics. However, equipment can be sanitized with a diluted bleach solution in order to reduce its transfer to other people.
Hand Washing and Sanitizing Procedures
After personnel touch an ill or wounded patient, hand washing is essential. Providers should also wash their hands after touching equipment or surfaces that might be contaminated. The patient with an active staphylococcus aureus infection of the arm might have rested the arm on a chair, countertop or sink. Sanitizing these items lessens the risk of spreading the bacterial infection to others.
Stopping Microbial Transfer From Different Parts of a Facility
Moving patients from one part of a facility to another is a known method of distributing microbes. Something as simple as taking a patient for a CT or X-ray could transfer germs from an exam room to the imaging room. Using medical casters with built-in antimicrobial properties lessens the risk of transferring infectious diseases that are resistant to many antibiotics.