How to improve the sanitation standards in your medical facility

By: Yolanda Smith, MedicalSearch Writer
05 October, 2015

The sanitation of your medical facility is crucial for the provision of optimal healthcare to patients and promoting the best health outcomes. A wide range of factors can have an effect, which can make it difficult to know where to start when improving the standards of your facility.

Identify problem areas

Each medical practice has strengths and weaknesses in the way it runs; the key to improvement lies in recognising your shortcomings in order to create positive change.

Feedback from staff and patients may help to identify the sanitation issues that are unique to your practice. Additionally, you may benefit from looking through case histories to establish patterns that occur frequently, such as certain infections.

When you have discovered a few main areas that could be improved, the next step is to create and implement a strategy that can improve the standards.

Encourage hand washing

It is widely accepted that hand washing plays a significant role in the sanitation of a medical facility, particularly in preventing the spread of microbial organisms and infections between patients.

Encouraging both patients and staff members to wash hands regularly will help to improve sanitation. Removing barriers to washing hands by placing frequent hand washing stations throughout the practice is likely to increase the rates of individuals washing their hands. Additionally, visual cues with a reminder to wash hands upon entering certain areas may help.

Dispose of waste appropriately

Waste disposal can make a big impact on the sanitation of your medical facility. There are several different types of waste and each should be handled differently for optimal results.

Sharps should be placed in a separate disposal bin to general waste, as is required by all medical facilities in Australia. Biological wastes that may carry microbial organisms need appropriate care to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infection.

Additionally, one-time-use medical instruments should be disposed of in a suitable manner to avoid contamination between patients.

Involve your staff

Your team is essential for the running theme of a medical facility and can have a profound impact on sanitation standards – both positive and negative.

Running training days that accentuate the importance of hygiene and sanitation, with practical ideas to implement strategies of improvement can be beneficial.

Simple changes, such as staff taking a moment to remind patients and visitors to clean their hands when they enter the medical facility can go a long way.