Reducing the Risks of Coronavirus in Hospitals
While the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to be growing each day in the U.S., it is important for hospitals and healthcare providers to take the appropriate steps to help reduce the risk of the disease and its spread to others. Currently, there is no way to prevent coronavirus as there is no vaccine for it.
However, there are several things hospitals can do to ensure employees and patients alike have minimal exposure to the disease. Hospitals do need to be prepared to accept patients who present symptoms of the disease.
Your employees need to be trained and ready to respond by using best practices to limit contact and keep the suspected infected person isolated. Best practices should also be used to prevent the spread of the disease to others within the hospital.
1. Employees and those suspected of having coronavirus should wear hospital face masks.
The use of hospital face masks can help employees from breathing in airborne germs and getting sick themselves. Those suspected of being infected also need to wear face masks to avoid openly breathing their germs into air.
2. Employees need to use disposable hospital gloves for every patient.
The use of disposable hospital gloves should already be a common practice. However, employees need to get into the practice of changing gloves more often. Anytime they leave an examination room, they should remove the gloves and wash their hands with soap and water.
When they enter a new exam room or return to the same one, they should put on a new pair of gloves.
3. Limit access to suspected infected persons.
If a patient is suspected to have coronavirus, the number of people tending to the patient should be limited. Visitors should not be allowed into the room at any point.
4. Keep suspected infected persons isolated.
Hospitals need to have an area established where they can keep suspected infected persons isolated from other patients.
5. Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
Hand washing is vital to control the spread of germs. Using hand sanitizer is not suitable as a substitute for washing one’s hands but is acceptable when access to soap and water is not available. Just make sure the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol.
6. Change hospital scrubs often.
Hospital staff should change their scrubs after attending to a patient suspected of having coronavirus. The scrubs should be handled according to the same policies, as if they were exposed to bodily fluids or blood.
7. Monitor healthcare employees who are caring for suspected patients.
It may be necessary to require healthcare employees to remain at the hospital and isolated from other employees while caring for patients suspected of having coronavirus.
8. Clean and sterilize exam rooms, countertops, etc.
Frequently cleaning of exam rooms and anything that could have been touched is vital. Exam tables, beds, and other such medical equipment used to examine the patient should be sterilized before it is used again. Sheets, bedding, etc. should be changed and handled according to the same policies, like they had blood or bodily fluids on them.
9. Hospital staff who are sick or do not feel well should stay home.
You should encourage your hospital staff to remain at home if they are sick or do not feel well. If they are experiencing symptoms of the cold, flu, or other illness, it is best for them to remain home. With a weakened immune system, they are at a greater risk of potentially being infected with coronavirus.
Prudential Overall Supply Serves and Supplies Hospitals
From hospital uniform services to hand sanitizer to microfiber cleaning products—Prudential Overall Supply has your hospital or healthcare facility covered. Please feel free to contact Prudential Overall Supply at 800-767-5536 to discuss your facility’s needs.