For a long time, cleaning has been all about the look; fresh smell and the absence of stains or dirt were the criteria to determine that a place is clean. Today, these criteria are still generally accepted in environments such as offices and classrooms.
It’s common knowledge, however, that microbes (bacteria or viruses) invisible to the human eye represent a risk for spreading infections. Take the example of the influenza virus: it can survive for up to 48 hours on a hard surface!
Without cleaning and disinfection procedures or a quality check procedure, microbes can survive in hospital environments.
Three key elements have to be considered in order to perform an infective risk analysis:
- Is the patient carrying a disease agent? Disease agents are classified based on their spreading capacity and their virulence. The choice of a disinfectant will be based on this.
- Do the functional activities of a sector represent a risk of spreading infections from the environment? E.g.: food service, offices, Intensive Care, etc.
- The intensity of contact is related to the traffic and the surfaces that are more likely to be touched. E.g.: bathroom fittings.
Have you already performed an infective risk analysis? The next post is going to explain how cleaning allows reducing risks of infection among patients.
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Le nettoyage dans les hôpitaux du 21e siècle by Dr. Stephanie J. Dancer, Medical, Microbiology, Hairmyres Hospital, UK appeared on the magazine Le Nettoyage professionnel, July/August 2012.
Hygiène et salubrité en milieux de soins – Démarche pour le développement de stratégies d’entretien des surfaces, MSSS, 2010, 52 pages.