HAIs, or healthcare-associated infections, are a common problem within many medical facilities. Typically, HAI occurrences are spread through lingering bacterial pathogens: Perhaps a surface wasn’t sanitized efficiently, a bed wasn’t sterilized thoroughly or a pair of scrubs wasn’t laundered correctly.
Despite the many health precautions facilities take, these infections spread easily and, as long as bacteria exist, HAIs have the potential to permeate. The spread of HAIs is exacerbated when staff members take their uniforms home. Home laundering stands no chance against the bacterial buildup that gathers on medical linens. If garments are not being sanitized by a qualified, professional laundry service, they are contributing to the rise of HAI occurrences in your facility.
To keep HAIs down, it is critical to maintain a sanitary work environment, and ensure linens and garments are sanitized according to best practice industry standards. Besides getting scrubs and liinens professionally laundered, here are three more simple ways to halt the spread of bacteria and ensure a healthier work environment.
Mop Up With Microfiber
Too many facilities make the mistake of using one big, heavy mop. The old mop-and-bucket routine is not effective for cleaning the floors of a medical facility. In fact, standard mops actually assist in spreading HAIs. They drag pathogens from one area to the next, sloshing from dirty floor to dirty bucket.
A microfiber mop system is 99 percent effective when used with water alone. Employed properly with a disinfectant, these mops test completely free of contamination. A microfiber mop attracts dust with an electric charge, so it’s much lighter and efficient than a traditional mop, which makes it perfect for covering the vast amount of floor space in medical facilities.
Use A Reliable Quality Assurance Process
HAIs form through the transference of pathogens. These bacterial pathogens might be on your floor, in your linen closet … even in the laundry delivery truck. These are opportune places for germs to cross-contaminate.
If your laundry partner delivers linens that are unpackaged or not individually wrapped, there is a real risk of cross-contamination. All of the garments and linens that come off of the delivery truck and into your facility should be sanitized and individually enclosed. Your laundry partner should also make sure that linens are properly sealed en route to and from your facility, as airborne pathogens from soiled linens have the potential to permeate freshly cleaned ones.
Ensure Regular Lab Coat Swaps
Doctors visit multiple patients each day, and every room they enter is filled with different bacteria. If doctors don’t change their lab coats each day, or more frequently if the coats are visibly soiled, they’re carrying (and spreading) various pathogens. A lab coat needs to undergo the same treatment as medical garments or linens: proper sanitizing and individual packaging through a professional service. It’s also important to ensure a large enough inventory for doctors to switch out their lab coats whenever needed.
A professional medical laundry service is essential to keeping your linens sanitary and your patients and staff safe from harmful pathogens. Healthcare-associated infections spread more easily than many people realize, and any outside exposure to medical linens accelerates the problem. Keep your facility properly sanitized, keep a close eye on your linen inventory, and partner with a reliable, professional laundry service to keep HAI occurrences down.
To reduce your worries about HAIs, contact the experts at ImageFIRST. We’re dedicated to providing you with exceptional linens that suit your inventory needs so that focusing on patient comfort and safety is always your first priority. Call 1.800.408.0370 or click the link below to contact an ImageFIRST Associate now.