The lack of appropriate training is said to be a major contributor to high infection rates in South African healthcare facilities, according to a local industrial and healthcare cleaning solutions provider.
“Proper training and implementing correct cleaning practices is one of the easiest ways to prevent infections. The lack of training and adherence to correct practices pose a big risk, something which can lead to causing real harm,” says Industroclean MD Emma Corder.
The company identified the need for a comprehensive document focusing on the standard operating procedures for cleaning in healthcare facilities, specifically on the methodologies of cleaning. It developed a training manual in partnership with MS Consulting, specialists in training, cleaning and auditing in healthcare facilities.
The manual is designed to be easy to use and understand, with a specific focus on the link between infection control and environmental cleaning in healthcare facilities. It includes hand washing posters, updated according to World Health Organisation guidelines, basic cleaning principles and the prevention of cross contamination, in line with the Centres for Disease Control’s guidelines for cleaning in healthcare facilities.
- Identifying risk areas in healthcare facilities
- Routes of transmission and the chain of infection
- The role of good cleaning practices and hand hygiene in breaking the chain of transmission
Infection prevention and control nursing practitioners were also consulted for input into the training manual.
“The manual is designed to assist with best practices to improve and standardise the implementation of cleaning methodologies in patient care areas,” says MS Consulting owner Marietjie Swanepoel.
In addition, the document focuses on improving standards of housekeeping and assisting professional healthcare cleaners and the role they play in creating a safe and clean environment for patients, healthcare staff and visitors and in preventing environment-contact transmissions.
“Maintaining the highest levels of hygiene is a rudimentary principle in the industry, and one that requires neither huge investment nor highly-skilled staff,” says Corder.