According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), there are 200,000 healthcare-associated infection (HAI) cases affecting Australian healthcare facilities each year. HAIs are the most common complication affecting patients in hospitals, resulting in prolonged stays, unnecessary patient discomfort and additional cost to the healthcare system.
What is an infection and who is at risk?
An infection is a disease caused by any virus, bacteria or parasite, commonly referred to as ‘bugs’ or ‘germs’. Of these sources, bacteria are the number one cause of HAIs. The most common types of infection caused by bacteria include urinary tract infections, wound infections, pneumonia and bloodstream infections.
Premature babies, sick children, elderly people, people with compromised immune systems and those suffering from chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of contracting an infection.
Infections don’t just spread in hospitals, but can occur in any healthcare setting, such as general practice doctor surgeries, dental clinics and long-term care facilities. Patients, anyone working in a healthcare facility, and visitors, are all at risk.
How can you prevent an infection?
HAIs can be managed through quality infection prevention and control measures for patients and those that work in healthcare. With the right plan and processes in place, infection can be prevented and avoided altogether.
Some of the main prevention strategies include hand hygiene, correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), contact precaution and routine cleaning. Waste management also plays a critical role in preventing the spread of infection.
When handling waste:
• apply standard precautions to protect against exposure to blood and bodily substances during handling of waste and always wash hands following procedure
• avoid touching items with potentially contaminated hands
• segregation should occur at the point of generation
• waste should be contained in the appropriate receptacle (identified by colour and label) and disposed of according to the facility waste management plan
• healthcare workers should be trained in the correct procedures for waste handling
How we help medical facilities prevent infections
Stationery, open lidded and/or mobile garbage bins are common in patient-care areas, as is the practice of transferring clinical waste in bags and soft packaging. These are risky practices that result in spillage, infection transfer, pathogen build up and sharps penetration.
Our container disposal systems feature exceptional standards of safety, which is a must for any waste management solution for the medical sector. The foot-pedal opening mechanism and bagless system means hand contact with containers is no longer required. This ‘no-touch’ system results in reduced risk of infection transfer, compared to standard clinical waste containers which require manual lid opening or by tying off bags before debagging.
Clinismart is proven to minimise risk of infection while increasing segregation efficiencies and reducing impact on the environment. Clinismart is also designed to manage logistical challenges commonly associated with healthcare waste disposal, while maintaining staff and patient safety as the highest priority.
The Clinismart reusable system ensures that once full, each container is closed off and presented for removal from your premises. Our rigorous 6-stage robotic wash and sanitisation process eliminates 1,000,000 even hard to kill organisms per cm2.
We have a range of Clinismart medical waste containers for a variety of waste streams such as cytotoxic waste, genetically modified organisms, pharmaceutical waste and laparoscopic waste.
Have you heard about Sharpsmart? Our sharps disposal containers have saved 20,000 healthcare workers from sharps injuries since 1999. Learn more here.
Talk to Cleanaway and Daniels Health today to learn how you can help your business prevent infections.