The importance of hospital hygiene



28 February 2017

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is essential that hospitals maintain an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene at all times.

The threat of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI), which are infections that are contracted while in a hospital or healthcare facility, is quite real.

HAIs consist of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, which can be spread in a number of ways, mainly:

  • being touched by dirty, unwashed hands
  • improper use or reuse of equipment
  • unsterilized equipment
  • dirty, unsterilized surfaces

It is estimated that as much as up to 40% or more of hospitalizations in Sub-Saharan Africa (and other developing countries) result in HAIs. This is quite a lot when compared to the 5%-10% hospitalisations in first world countries.

Young Boy in Hospital hugging his teddy bear

A deeper clean

Some HAIs and superbugs such as MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) are resistant to regular chemicals and surface cleaning.

It is no wonder then that hospitals and medical environments require a specialised deeper cleaning routine as general cleaning is simply not enough to completely eradicate the unique germs, bacteria and pathogens found in hospitals.

Studies have found that high contamination areas in medical environments include:

  • restroom surfaces
  • door handles
  • washbasins – in restrooms and wards
  • soap and paper towel dispensers
  • public areas within the hospital

Two surgeons washing their hands in a hospital sink

Washing hands saves lives

It may come as a surprise, but simple hand washing is the best hygiene tactic used in the defence against germs and bacteria in these kinds of environments.

Hand washing drastically reduces the spread of bacteria and can prevent a host of germs being passed between healthcare workers and patients.

The World Health Organisation endorses hand washing for patient safety and campaigns have been initiated across South Africa to improve hygiene and patient safety in hospitals.

So in conclusion, good hospital hygiene is vitally important in stopping the high percentage of hospital acquired illnesses.

At Steiner, we have a range of professional hygiene solutions for buildings, clinics and healthcare facilities.

Contact us today for a quote; we look forward to hearing from you.

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