The issue of safety in hospitals and healthcare establishments has always been paramount, but arguably never more so as the coronavirus continues rage.
According to most statistics, an estimated 15% of the waste generated by healthcare activities is considered to be toxic, infectious or radioactive, and this is far from surprising when you consider that up to 16 billion injections are administered worldwide each year and a large number of the used needles and syringes aren’t disposed of safely afterwards.
So, what are the key processes for keeping establishments safe and clean, and what improvements can be made as Covid-19 continues to sweep indiscriminately throughout the UK?
Adhering to Basic Cleaning Guidelines to Keep Patients Safe
Prevention is always better than cure, which is why hospitals should always adhere to fundamental cleaning guidelines in order to practice effective infection control.
Make no mistake; cleaning is central to effective infection control, particularly in busy work areas that gather large deposits of soil, microbes and dust.
In simple terms, all work surfaces should be cleaned or wiped over with a neutral detergent and warm water solution, before being rinsed, dried before and after each session.
All buckets used for cleaning should be emptied after use, before being washed thoroughly with detergent and warm hot and rinsed with hot water. Buckets and similar entities should also be stored dry, while mops must be laundered or cleaned in the same way and stored in a sterile area.
Staff should also be aware that all cleaning methods should avoid the generation of aerosols, while cleaning implements must be changed after each use, sterilised and fully dried before being deployed again.
It’s also interesting to note that cleaning sprays should not be sued, as they become all too easily contaminated and are incredibly difficult to keep clean over time. So, avoid using these wherever possible, and ensure the safe storage of sprays if they are used as part of your cleaning regime.
How Else Can Hospitals Manage Their Waste Issues?
It’s also important to ensure that all staff follow standard, common sense precautions when keeping their workspaces clean, while also wearing key items of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a leading priority.
By wearing such equipment when cleaning healthcare establishments, employees can minimise the risk of airborne particles and contamination causing a potential infection within the workforce.
This is why healthcare bodies must also invest in waste management measures that are genuinely cost-effective, with service providers such as ERG proficient in the provision of particulate removal systems and similar technologies.
This type of partnership can also offer you access to toxic waste destruction systems, which enables you to dispose of contaminated and clinical supplies safely, effectively and as affordably as possible.
This also enables you to invest in eco-friendly waste management procedures wherever possible, which is another leading priority for healthcare groups in the modern age.