Imagine you are visiting a hospital while a minor renovation is underway. You never visit the floor undergoing the renovations or see any equipment. You are, however, traveling in a crowded hospital elevator when the car stops on the fourth floor and in walks a construction worker covered with dust.
He scrunches in between a hospital patient in a wheelchair and a visiting clergy member, while you count the floors passing. Embarrassed by his dust covered clothes, the construction worker starts brushing himself off. No one thinks much of it, but now all of the people who had come in and out of the elevator are carrying a little of that bacteria laden dust with them for the rest of their visits.
This example is one of many that illustrates how a contractor’s small actions can have a big impact on patients, visitors and healthcare employees. Without proper training on how infections can occur and spread in healthcare settings, contractors are likely to make mistakes without realizing the potentially hazardous effect. Common mistakes made in healthcare settings include:
Not enough time scheduled for training – In the hope of avoiding easy-to-make mistakes, most hospitals have a kick-off meeting to explain the Infection Control Risk Assessment. Not every worker will attend the ICRA meeting, however, and no hospital staff member can keep up with training for every worker that comes into the facility. Resistance for facility-wide training – In most facilities, the ICRA is posted on the wall near the project and everyone is expected to understand it and abide by it – but the workers who are expected to know it are often working in other areas of the facility, either bringing in equipment or performing tie-ins to utilities that are in adjacent areas.
Little awareness of how infections occur – Many workers are performing relatively simple tasks around the hospital and there is typically no discussion about what actually causes an infection. A contractor drilling a hole through a wall or a floor has little understanding of how that action can cause a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) or worse.
“Hurry up and get the job done” needs to become “How can I keep everyone around me safe while I work?”
Infection Control University’s Infection Control Awareness Training is in line with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to minimize HAIs in this critical area. The program was built to arm healthcare contractors with a greater understanding of how infections occur and the impact their actions can have on patients and the healthcare facility as a whole. Don’t take the risk and assume that every worker will have the proper knowledge to keep a healthcare facility free of infections. It is an impossible task for an overburdened staff. Infection Control University will give your healthcare staff 24/7 access and unlimited usage of the Learning Management System in addition to documenting the training, all at no cost to the hospital.