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Keeping Diseases Out of Healthcare Facilities Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Intodu­ction Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)

Although signif­icant progress has been made in preventing health­car­e-a­cquired infections (HAIs), additional steps need to be taken to control and mitigate this high risk of infection. HAIs are preven­table and often caused by poor hospital conditions or human error.

In an effort to reduce the overwh­elming number of HAIs that occur annually and to improve patient safety, all personnel working in a healthcare facility should follow these risk management methods in every corner of the facility.

Preven­tions

1. Establish a commun­ica­tions plan for monitoring adherence to infection control guidel­ines.
When a facility outlines and defines infection control strategies for its staff and vendors to follow, work can be done in a timely and effective manner. This allows infection prevention personnel to monitor that all work being done within the facility ensures the safety of its patients.

2. Map out high-t­raffic areas of the facility.
With mainte­nance vendors constantly moving about a healthcare facility, the facility manager should be respon­sible for relaying the map of populated areas to its vendors so that vendors are aware of where the most at-risk patients are, specif­ically those with immuno­-co­mpr­omised systems. It is more likely for a patient to acquire an HAI in high-t­raffic areas.

3. Minimize the number of entry areas.
Reducing the number of entrances that vendor employees use to enter a healthcare facility will minimize the risk of spreading potential bacteria to all staff and patients inside. Entering a hospital wing with dirty shoes from a constr­uction site tracks multiple types of bacteria into the facility and disturbs patient safety. With the possibly of multiple vendors unsafely coming into contact with patients, healthcare facilities should limit access into the building and designate a vendor entry that requires every vendor to sign in.

4. Track all air flow patterns and pressure levels.
Airborne infections account for 17-20 percent of HAIs. Locate and monitor airflow levels and pressure balances throughout a facility's HVAC system to minimize the risk of microo­rga­nisms contam­inating the indoor air quality. Contro­lling indoor air quality minimizes the intrusion of dust and moisture from constr­uction sites into high-risk patient areas. This in turn helps maintain a safe enviro­nment for everyone in the facility.
 

Hospital Acquired Infections

Preven­tions Continued

5. Be aware of governing healthcare associ­ation requir­ements.
Vendor knowledge of infection control training recomm­ended or required by healthcare governing bodies – such as the Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and OSHA – is essential in improving hospital effici­ency. The standards identified in these documents and training courses are designed to keep patients and staff safe in every enviro­nment.

6. Implement facili­ty-wide infection control training.
Facilitate a hospit­al-wide training model that can be accessed by vendors 24/7 to ensure that the staff is well-e­ducated to make a difference and improve patient care. Address issues that healthcare staff members encounter on a daily basis to eliminate reoccu­rrence. Every vendor employee that enters the hospital should have completed the training courses and learned about their role in HAI preven­tion.

7. Surveil and record all constr­uction and renovation work.
Docume­nting all mainte­nance projects will safeguard a facility's compliance for patient safety. Without proper mainte­nance records, a facility could be liable in the event of a patient acquiring an HAI.