Reducing Hospital Acquired Infections in Australia

Healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) are an increasingly significant problem in hospitals and care facilities. Each year around 180,000 Australian patients suffer from HAIs ranging from urinary tract, staphylococcus, respiratory and more.

Defined as an infection acquired in hospital by a patient who was admitted for another reason, HAIs cause additional pressure on our healthcare system, on facility staff, and most importantly, on the patients themselves. For patients with weakened immune systems, HAIs can lead to prolonged recovery periods and even death.

The good news is that most healthcare acquired infections are preventable. At Keystone Health Supplies, it’s our mission to eliminate preventable HAIs in every Australian hospital and care facility. With the proper prevention and management practices, we know this is an achievable goal.

The hidden risks of hospital care

All people potentially harbour infectious microorganisms. But there’s no place quite like a hospital for gathering a large range of pathogens under one roof. Throw into the mix open surgeries, close accommodation, and shared equipment, and you’ve got a dangerous environment where infection can potentially run riot.

As such, it’s crucial for hospitals to maintain a vigilant prevention program to curb the risk of infection for patients, hospital staff, and visitors to the facility.

How to reduce Healthcare Acquired Infections

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare stresses the importance of reducing harm to people from HAIs through effective infection control across two key areas:

How to reduce Healthcare Acquired Infections

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare stresses the importance of reducing harm to people from HAIs through effective infection control across two key areas:

Hand Sanitisation

Microorganisms can be either present on hands most of the time (resident flora), or picked up during activities (transient flora).

A substantial portion of human infections are transmitted via contaminated hand contact between the face and an external surface or component. Patients with infections who touch their face and then other objects such as bed rails, door handles, and walking aids can quickly pass bacteria around and widen the range of infection.
Equally, patients or healthcare workers who touch infected areas and then touch their face carry a high risk of being the infection’s next unwilling host.

As we humans touch our face on average 2-5 times each minute, it stands to reason that hand sanitisation is the first step in infection control.

Measures for hand sanitisation include:

  • Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Hand hygiene before and after contact with all patients
  • Using aseptic ‘non-touch’ skin disinfectants for all invasive procedures
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Environmental Control

With patients routinely using shared equipment, regular cleaning is as fundamental as hand hygiene in the fight against disease causing microorganisms.

Ensuring that health facilities follow adequate measures for the routine care, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, beds, transport equipment and other frequently touched surfaces is paramount to successful infection control.

These measures include:

  • Scheduling regular equipment disinfection
  • Safe disposal of residual waste from cleaning activities
  • Maintaining clear protocols that uphold standards of cleanliness

A convenient alternative for superior infection controlSpecial products are available for hospitals and healthcare facilities that make sanitising shared equipment more effective in terms of safety, labour and cost.

The Hygiene Washer is designed to wash and disinfect contaminated medical equipment, helping facilities to maintain patient safety with clean, sanitised equipment while complying with Australian OHS requirements.

The washer caters for stainless steel equipment that comes in contact with people, such as:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Walking frames + sticks
  • Commode chairs
  • Hospital trolleys
  • Emergency carts
  • Food Trolleys

With the functionality to monitor the wash frequency of equipment, special rotating spray arms to disinfect difficult to reach areas, and UV light capability our Hygiene Washer ensures even the smallest infectious organisms are sent packing.

Also important to note is that the washer’s automatic self-cleaning functionality prevents cross contamination across equipment; draining all wastage directly into the facility’s sewer system, leaving no residue behind.

Where to find more information

Keystone Health Supplies are dedicated to the prevention and control of the transmission of HAIs to patients, residents, healthcare workers and facility visitors.

Contact Keystone Healthcare Supplies on 1300 547 877 to discuss your facility’s infection control needs or contact us here. Or for more information check out the Hygiene Washer video below!