A wake-up call has been rung for healthcare personnel around the world. A Duke Health study reports on the “transmission triangle” in a healthcare setting, between patients, the environment where care is administered, and the health care provider.
The study states that the germs in hospital rooms that come in contact with healthcare personnel can be spread far more than originally discovered.
“Any type of patient care, or even just entry into a room where care is provided, truly should be considered a chance for interacting with organisms that can cause disease.” said Deverick Anderson, M.D., the study’s lead author and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.
During the study, researchers collected cultures from the scrubs of intensive care unit nurses at Duke University Hospital. The samples were collected from new scrubs at the start of their shift, before interacting with a patient, and at the end of each shift.
Analysis of the cultures found organisms on the nurse’s scrubs that were not present at the beginning of a shift, but were present at the end. The researchers then looked for those same organisms in the samples collected from patients and their rooms.
During the shifts considered, the researchers confirmed 12 instances when at least one of the five pathogens was transmitted from the patient or the room to the scrubs. Six incidents each involved transmission from patient to nurse and room to nurse. An additional ten transmissions were from the patient to the room.
Analysis of the study found the scrubs, particularly the pockets and sleeves, from the nurses were most likely contaminated, and had the ability to pass on bacteria beyond the healthcare setting. Following prevention strategies has to be a top priority for all healthcare personnel.
Contaminated linen, including scrubs and coats, have been identified as a source of large numbers of pathogenic microorganisms. ScrubTrak helps control this risk in healthcare organizations by providing return units in key locations throughout the campus. Having multiple return unit locations ensures that employees do not have to travel far distances in contaminated uniforms.
Hospital grade laundering services provides a thorough, cleaning process that cannot be replicated in home washing machines and ensures scrubs are rid of infectious germs. Through automating the process for receiving and returning scrubs, ScrubTrak assists hospitals in complying with AORN’s recommendation for surgical attire to be laundered by a healthcare laundry facility to avoid the spread of infectious bacteria on scrubs of medical personnel who have patient interaction. By offering dispensing and return units for scrubs, and monitoring compliance through our real-time software system, hospital administrators can confidently comply with AORN. In addition, ScrubTrak’s return units allow for convenient and safe scrub pick-up by laundering staff.
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