How to Reduce Cross-Contamination and Prevent Infections

How to Reduce Cross-Contamination and Prevent Infections

Hospitals move at a very fast pace. There are lots of people coming in and out, as well as equipment that needs to be moved throughout the facility. Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) can easily spread by touching pieces of contaminated equipment and by not washing hands after contact with bodily fluids. If a surface is left uncleaned, it can easily become a source of cross-contamination. 

Disinfecting Equipment to Avoid Cross-Contamination

Equipment needs to be ready to be used at any time. It must be disinfected so that it can move through already disinfected spaces. If contaminated equipment is moved through an already disinfected area, that area needs to be disinfected again. Reusable equipment puts patients at risk of cross-contamination because any piece of equipment that touches a patient needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Single-use disposable devices should be used when possible. If only one person uses the device, the possibility of spreading germs among patients and medical personnel is eliminated.

Preventing Cross-Contamination Between People

If someone brings a pathogen or germ into a hospital, they can contaminate any surface they touch. This is why it’s important to keep sick patients separate from people who are visiting patients. Having two separate waiting rooms can help.

Proper hand hygiene can also help reduce the spread of germs. Place containers of hand sanitizers and antibacterial gels in each room and along the corridors to encourage hand hygiene for patients and visitors. Hospital employees need to properly and frequently wash their hands as well as wear protective gloves when necessary. All employees must wash their hands for at least twenty seconds in the following situations:

  • Before eating
  • After using the restroom
  • After removing gloves
  • Before moving to a clean body site after contacted with a contaminated body site
  • Before and after contact with a patient’s skin
  • After dressing a wound
  • After contact with bodily fluids or broken skin
  • After contact with any inanimate object near a patient

Making Sure Rooms are Ready for People & Equipment

Making sure that rooms are ready for people and equipment is critical. Any area that is occupied by people needs to be cleaned and disinfected. This includes hallways, restrooms, waiting rooms, patient rooms, hospital kitchens and play areas. It’s critical to clean any surface in the hospital that is touched. This includes door handles, telephones and elevator buttons. Schedule routine environmental cleaning. Cleaning is only one layer of infection prevention. The best way to ensure the entire hospital gets disinfected properly is to combine manual cleaning methods with UVC disinfection.

How UVC Can Help

UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air and nonporous surfaces. It has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria and harmful pathogens. UVC dosing works to reach all areas within a treated room, including those in shadowed or hard-to-reach places. By penetrating areas that manual cleaning and other technology cannot, UVC ensures disinfection is as complete as possible.

The best UVC equipment is engineered to operate as efficiently as possible to reduce treatment time and return treatment areas to service quickly. A “pause and reposition” feature helps operators streamline use of the technology. The technology helps staff quickly disinfect crucial areas and return rooms to service; the accelerated turnaround time makes it possible to treat more patients in any given day.

Disinfecting with UVC is one of the most effective ways to ensure infection prevention. Reach out to us to learn more.