Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How to Reduce Hospital Acquired Infections in Your Facility

Multiple C. difficile outbreaks throughout 2011 made headlines and caught the attention of consumer watchdogs. One investigation led by the consumer reports program CBC Marketplace looked into the unsanitary conditions at a number of hospitals as a major cause of the outbreak.

CBC Marketplace visited 11 hospitals in early 2012 with hidden cameras. The team applied a glow gel to handrails, doors, and other high touch areas, and returned 24 hours later to test if the surfaces had been cleaned by observing whether the glow gel had been removed. The glow gel is invisible without black light and can only be removed by a combination of friction and cleaning chemicals.

Glow gel was applied to high-touch surfaces throughout the hospital. View the CBC Marketplace video.

When the cameras returned a day later, it was discovered that many of the surfaces had been left untouched by the cleaning team. These high touch surfaces could act as a harbour for bacteria and spread the infection to anyone who pressed an elevator button or used a washroom.

Hospital Acquired Infections are currently the second most common adverse event affecting health care facilities. Hospital Acquired Infections including C. difficile, MRSA, and E. coli are common in the United States, with over 2 million cases reported each year and over 100,000 deaths annually.

The Cost of Hospital Acquired Infections

In the United States, Hospital Acquired Infections cost over $5 billion each year, and high readmission rates can further increase this cost. Patients affected by Hospital Acquired Infections including MRSA or C. difficile are 40% more likely to be readmitted within a year than other patients, which can add up to $26 billion in additional health care costs each decade.

Starting in October 2012, Medicare will begin to penalize hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates in the first month after a patient’s discharge. As a result, hospitals should continue to focus on improving cleaning procedures in order to reduce the spread of infection within the patient environment.

Infection Control Starts at the Hospital Bed

Since most patients spend the majority of their stay in the hospital bed, it is important to target this area for infection control. Almost 75% of patient rooms are contaminated with MRSA, which can be found on bedrails and other surfaces. The short patient turnover in hospital beds can make it difficult for cleaning staff to thoroughly disinfect and clean a patient room before the next patient arrives.

However, there are 3 ways a hospital bed can improve patient safety and assist cleaning staff with infection control:

  1. Antibacterial surfaces
  2. Open architecture
  3. Non-metal mattress platforms
1. Antibacterial Surfaces

Commonly touched areas of the bed can harbour bacteria and spread infection to patients and hospital workers. To avoid this, bed frames need to be cleaned regularly by cleaning staff, but this can sometimes be overlooked.

Antibacterial solutions implanted in the hospital bed’s surfaces can help to improve hygiene in patient rooms by eliminating most of the harmful bacteria that can cause infection. These antibacterial solutions kill 99.9% of MRSA and E. coli and reduce the spread of bacteria in the patient room. Antibacterial bed frames can assist cleaning staff in keeping patients safe and can be a line of defense against the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections.

2. Open Architecture

Nooks and crannies on hospital bed frames can often make cleaning a challenge, leaving untouched areas prone to bacteria growth. A hospital bed that features open architecture and accessible undercarriages can help staff clean the often hard-to-reach areas of a hospital bed. Cleaning efficiency can be improved with visibility and easier access to all areas of the bed that can save time and improve infection control.

3. Non-Metal Mattress Platforms

When a patient lies in bed, a mattress can experience temperature fluctuations from body heat. Metal mattress platforms do not adapt well to these temperature changes and can “sweat,” which allows moisture to build between the deck and the mattress itself. This moisture can promote bacteria growth over time and can lead to serious complications including mold, mildew, and unsatisfactory equipment hygiene which can spread to the patient.

It can be difficult for maintenance staff to regularly clean the metal mattress platform and eliminate the moisture build-up that can house harmful bacteria. With a change in mattress platform material, this bacteria growth can be slowed, and patient safety can increase. Non-metal mattress platforms made of fibre-composite material can adapt to temperature fluctuations and keep the surface dry and clean.
Switching to a different mattress platform material can improve patient safety and help cleaning staff to reduce the risk of infection.


Eliminating the spread of bacteria at high touch patient areas with improved cleaning processes can help minimize Hospital Acquired Infections. Though constant patient use can make hospital beds a challenging area for cleaning staff, using a hospital bed that can help combat the spread of infection can improve patient safety and can help reduce hospital readmission rates.

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CHG Hospital Beds specializes in low hospital beds that are designed to prevent patient falls and related injuries within acute care environments. We are focused on patient and nurse safety and deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers.

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At 15 October 2012 at 19:31 , Blogger Adler Gilroy said...
I read whole the post. Hand washing is the single most significant method for preventing infections. Hand cleaning is defined as a vigorous, brief wiping together of all exterior of lathered hands, pursued by rinsing under a stream of water.

Healthcare Infection  
At 16 October 2012 at 17:03 , Blogger Trinidad said...
Aside from the sterility of hospital beds, the condition of the medical equipment should be taken into account as well. The main concern here is the packaging and storage of these materials and equipment. Every once in a while, the facility should make an audit and identify which equipment needs to be re-sterilize, re-packaged, or replaced.

Trinidad Philipps  
At 20 October 2012 at 19:44 , Blogger anay said...
Very interesting site. I hope it will always be alive! Sincerely, and great post . Keep in sharing this one.

Adjustable Mattress  
At 14 December 2012 at 21:06 , Blogger Mae Kristine Rana said...
Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!

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At 2 March 2013 at 05:36 , Blogger Muhammad Amir said...
A hospital bed that features open architecture hospital equipment and accessible undercarriages can help staff clean the often hard-to-reach areas of a hospital bed.  
At 19 March 2013 at 03:48 , Blogger sam john said...
Hospital Acquired Infections are currently the second most common adverse event affecting health care facilities
At 2 April 2013 at 16:36 , Anonymous Anonymous said...
It would be bad if the patient’s condition becomes more complicated due to unclean hospital conditions. Hospitals are and should always be vigilant of the conditions of their surroundings and the equipment that they use.

Carmella Eaglin  
At 22 April 2013 at 16:31 , Blogger Cami Hood said...
Proper cleaning and maintenance of hospital equipment is essential in keeping the overall health of patients. It might be a good idea to replace supplies such as mattresses and other high-contact equipment every so often to ensure the high quality and standards of patient care.

Cami Hood  
At 24 September 2013 at 09:42 , Anonymous Anonymous said...
These tips and advices are really very much effective, Taking antibiotics for the full duration prescribed is the best way to assure that harmful bacteria causing the infection are completely eradicated.
antibiotics to buy  
At 10 August 2018 at 08:38 , Blogger Office Cleaning Service Montreal said...
I read your post, Great post with Nice information.. Thanks for sharing !!
Hospital Cleaning Services Montreal  

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