Infection Control Practices and Their Significance for Healthcare Organisations
Healthcare facilities follow standard procedures and practices to reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens, from both recognised and unrecognised sources. Diseases, for which standard vaccines and treatments are available, are prevented from spreading by administering the prescribed drugs to the patient. But the situation is different in case of diseases for which the standard treatments are not available (unrecognised diseases). In such cases, isolating the patient completely and putting up infection control practices in place to prevent the virus from spreading further, are the most effective ways of containing the disease.
The Need for Infection Control Practices
Failure to implement proper infection control practices leads to additional costs for the healthcare institutions. According to a study by World Health Organization (WHO), annual financial losses due to healthcare associated infections (HAI’s) were estimated to be €7 Bn in Europe and USD 6.5 Bn in USA. Similarly, according to a 2011 report by Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP), a large number of HAI’s can be prevented with increased infection control measures.
The report adds that over 57,000 neonatal deaths occur in India due to lack of infection control in its hospitals.
Key Elements of Infection Control Practices
Healthcare facilities require a health policy that can promote a safety as a part of the DNA of the organisation and facilitate the implementation of infection control practices.
The organisation should also focus on basic infection control practices such as hand hygiene, use of adequate personal protective equipment for staff, handling patient-care equipment and waste disposal to promote infection-free environment.
Due to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), respiratory hygiene/cough etiquettes are also considered a part of standard precautions for infection control.
It is important to note that discovery of new virus and diseases has contributed towards recognition of “Infection Control” as an important healthcare discipline. Healthcare experts consider infection control an effective tool in containing diseases at the source.
Hospitals and healthcare institutions are actively training their existing nursing staff in Infection Control Practices (ICP) or recruiting trained Infection Control Nurses (ICN).
About Berkeley HealthEDU
Berkeley HealthEDU conducts Infection Control Nurse Programme, a unique training course for nurses seeking or currently holding Infection Control Nurse (ICN) position in healthcare facilities. The programme is spread across 3 months with 4 classes per month followed by a quality improvement exercise.