There has never been a more important time for care homes to invest in effective infection control and prevention.
This was the key message from Care Home Management’s latest podcast.
Tune in here.
Nicola Whittaker, national account manager at Miele Professional, discussed how care homes can improve best practice in their laundry rooms. She also provided advice on laundry room design.
Miele provides care homes with laundry equipment, dishwashers, washer disinfectors and sterilisation equipment.
“It is important to have good processes in place, from the minute the linen is collected from a resident’s room, right through to how it is stored after it has been cleaned,” she said. “Providers should look at every part of their laundry process to see where there are gaps in infection control.”
Dr Barend ter Haar, director at BES Healthcare which has been a leader in infection prevention and decontamination for about 25 years, is also on the podcast. The panel is completed by Graham Flynn, director at clinical waste management specialists Anenta; and Steve Whittall, group director of operations at hand dryer and purification and sanitation equipment company Airdri.
Dr ter Haar said care homes face so many challenges around infection prevention. This includes understanding why it is important to take different approaches to disinfecting air, versus hard surfaces and versus soft surfaces. Providers need to know what to use and when, and what to avoid.
“It is important to understand how each surface is made and how to deal with it. We know that when you touch things you leave bugs behind on all surfaces,” he said.
For expert advice and guidance, Dr ter Haar recommended the British Healthcare Trades Association website.
Anenta’s Flynn explained why and how care homes must follow best practice and comply with clinical waste regulations. He said the rules can be difficult to understand but suppliers will offer advice and support.
“There are many areas that need to be improved in care homes,” he said. “For example, there are often segregation issues which push up costs and can lead to infection control issues. We also see poor containment and labeling practices which mean waste is misclassified. This results in the wrong disposal method.”
Airdri’s Whittall said care homes are looking for infection control methods that are unobtrusive, which often means using the latest technology.
“Providers want technology that does not disturb residents, particularly those with dementia. The solutions also need to be cost-effective,” he said. “Care homes should also ensure they are purchasing products that are proven to work against airborne and surface bacteria.”
Care home marketing experts Smooth Digital sponsored the podcast.
Tune in to all our podcasts here or via your usual podcast provider.