Hygiene in care

In recent years, the delivery of medical and nursing care has shifted to a large extent from hospitals to inpatient and outpatient care. It is therefore necessary that the implementation and organization of hygiene monitoring take into account the special requirements in the various care facilities.

Hygiene in care is governed by clearly defined care standards, service instructions, and guidelines, as well as hygiene management. The aim is to achieve a high quality of care because hygiene is considered an elementary component of this quality.

HyServe offers ATP tests for the many different areas of care. From wound care to laundry, hygiene measures play a major role because it is important to avoid potential infections. Food handling is also considered a sensitive area, as pathogens can be transmitted from the care patient to the caregiver and vice versa. With the Lumitester Smart, customers benefit from patented A3 technology that detects microbial contamination on surfaces, in food and water.

Hygiene in Inpatient and Outpatient Care

The manager of the care facility or the outpatient care service bears the responsibility for hygiene compliance and monitoring. In this context, the company’s hygiene management system provides for a hygiene plan that is to be adapted to the respective facility to meet individual requirements.

Monitoring of compliance with hygiene measures must take place regularly and must be documented accordingly. In addition, the hygiene plan must be reviewed annually to ensure that it is up to date.

There is a framework hygiene plan for old people’s homes and nursing homes in every federal state. This is based on the requirements of the Infection Protection Act. The head of a facility can appoint a hygiene officer or, depending on the size of the facility, a hygiene commission. These persons have the following responsibilities:

  • Determine focal points of infection prevention
  • Create and update hygiene plan
  • Ensure broad acceptance of hygiene measures among employees
  • Determine hygienic microbiological environmental examinations
  • A3 (ATP+ADP+AMP) technology
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Reliable readings within 10 seconds
  • Recognized test for verification of cleaning protocol
  • For better hygiene monitoring in care settings

Why is Hygiene so Important in Nursing Care?

Residents, staff, and visitors must be protected from nosocomial infections. Especially the elderly, whose immune systems are no longer powerful enough, are at increased risk from infectious diseases. Their diminished general condition is a risk factor, along with the ever-increasing life expectancy.

Checking the success of disinfection is a typical measure within the framework of the hygiene plan in old people’s and nursing care facilities, as sufficient disinfection is often not given. The causes of inadequate disinfection include poor implementation due to incorrect dosing or insufficient mechanics during wiping, resulting in organic residues remaining on surfaces.

With the HyServe ATP tests, the disinfection and cleaning success can be carried out directly on-site within 10s using swabs and the handy Lumitester Smart. Measuring points can be defined at various points in the facilities to continuously monitor the general hygiene status.

FAQs
  • 1) What is a framework hygiene plan?

    According to § 36 of the Infection Protection Act for elderly and nursing care facilities, the framework hygiene plan of the federal states contains support for specific situations and hygiene measures in nursing care.

  • 2) What is the self-control concept?

    With a self-control concept, care facilities can expand their HACCP concepts and align their planned operating procedures with them. This includes, among other things, work instructions or documentation templates.

  • 3) What is the Hygiene Compass?

    The Hygiene Compass is a table that lists and briefly comments on external regulations and information publications for hygiene officers in care facilities.

  • 4) Why is hygiene so important in nursing care?

    Hands are considered an avoidable source of transmission of infectious diseases, which in the case of nursing homes and care facilities can be dangerous or even life-threatening to residents, some of whom are pre-diseased and debilitated.

  • 5) Who is responsible for hygiene in nursing care?

    The operator of the respective care facility or outpatient care service is responsible for hygiene management in care. This includes the hygiene plan with occupational safety, personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, environmental hygiene, patient-related hygiene, and hygiene during home and nursing home visits.

Hygiene plan and infection prevention concept

Following Section 36 of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) [40] and TRBA 250 [4], facilities are required by Section 1 (1), 1a of the Nursing Home Act to lay down in writing in-house procedures for infection hygiene in the form of hygiene plans, to minimize infection risks for residents and staff in the facilities concerned. Source: (https://www.rki.de)

As part of the hygiene plan, surfaces must be clean and dry, and surface disinfection must be performed in special situations. Required preventive measures must be documented and this documentation must be able to be presented in the event of an inspection by the health department.

Mit dem ATP Test Lumitester Smart können Verschmutzungen durch Blut, Biofilme, Bakterien oder KörperflĂŒssigkeiten nachgewiesen werden. Es handelt sich dabei um anerkannte Tests zur ÜberprĂŒfung der Reinigung.

Routine swab checks of residents and staff can also be useful in epidemiological circumstances, for example in the case of frequent occurrences of MRSA infections. The hygiene plan contains further lists of topics and contents such as water hygiene, environmental hygiene, personnel hygiene, kitchen hygiene, or the self-monitoring concept.

The ATP Test Lumitester Smart can be used to detect contamination by blood, biofilms, bacteria, or body fluids. These are recognized tests for verification of cleanliness.

Importance of Hand Hygiene in Nursing

Failure to maintain hand hygiene or poor hand hygiene is considered a major cause of pathogen transmission in healthcare facilities.

The term hand hygiene can be used to summarize:

  • The framework of measures to establish and maintain hand hygiene
  • The regular washing of hands
  • The disinfection of hands
  • The use of gloves
  • The skin protection and hand care

In the facilities, the specifications from the in-house hygiene plan apply, which must be known to every employee as a service instruction.

It is important to note that hand washing only insufficiently removes microorganisms from the skin. If performed too frequently, hand washing also has the disadvantage that skin damage can occur.

Hand disinfection, in turn, can dry out the skin and cause irritation. In addition, alcohol-based hand disinfectants are usually used in nursing, which is ineffective against bacterial spores. Hand disinfection should also be performed after prolonged wear of protective gloves, as hand sweat which contains bacteria accumulates.

To verify compliance with hand disinfection, home hygiene must be implemented by each employee. The Clean Hands Campaign was launched in 2008 with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Health and other institutions. Its tasks include data collection, training, communication of the results, and other offers for hospitals, care facilities, and other companies in the healthcare sector.

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