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Keeping Healthcare Facilities Sanitary During Flu Season




A rundown hospital corridor

There’s something about the winter that causes cases of the common cold as well as the flu to skyrocket. Doctors believe that people are more likely to be diagnosed with the flu during winter months because they stay indoors longer and are in close proximity with their families during this time of year. On the other hand, researchers have found that good hygiene can also help to stave off winterbourne illnesses. 

Hospitals, dentist offices and other healthcare facilities can be a breeding ground for the flu if sanitization efforts aren’t made. Healthcare administrators with a health law degree understand that are responsible for protecting the health of all patients that they treat. For example, if an elderly patient came to a hospital to get a hip replaced and came down with a bad case of the flu that turned into walking pneumonia, the surgical center could be sued and found liable if poor sanitation practices could be proven. 

Checking the Most Commonly Touched Surfaces

A lot of hospitals have sliding doors that are conveniently operated via motion sensor. On the other hand, these same facilities also likely have handrails, chairs with armrests, coffee tables, and even remote controls that can be touched by hundreds of people within a 24 hour period. There should be a protocol in place at your healthcare facility that includes the sanitization of common area surfaces. All doorknobs should be cleaned with disinfectant spray or wipes. The hallways and sitting areas should be broom swept and then mopped every day and if a spill should occur, it needs to be cleaned up immediately.

Bathrooms Must be Cleaned Like Clockwork

You never know what the person in the bathroom before you did or did not do. Some people have a horrible habit of not washing their hands at all or insufficiently. Since patients have to touch the doorknob, the toilet paper and the handle on the toilet at a minimum, you should be having workers regularly close off all public rest areas, one at a time, so that they can be sanitized several times a day. This will reduce the chances of a flu outbreak in your medical facility. 

Sanitizing Patient Exam Rooms

Patients can wait in an examination room for nearly an hour prior to a doctor becoming available. Though healthcare facilities employ staff with health policy masters degrees, there’s little training beyond fully sanitizing patient exam rooms. It isn’t practical to hose down a patient exam room with bleach and water between patients. On the other hand, a few sprays of Lysol might not be sufficient to completely rid the room of germs either. Instead, try wiping down all seated surfaces with disinfectant wipes and be sure to secure all biological waste matter.

Patients that are believed to have contagious diseases should be quarantined, even if it is just the flu. Keep sick patients away from patients that have weakened immune systems so you don’t have a higher risk of serious, preventable medical emergencies. Most importantly, keep your healthcare facilities as clean and germ free as possible to keep the flu at bay.

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