In last week’s blog post, I recommended decentralizing supplies and equipment to the patient room based on my job shadow of a nurse. This week, the focus moves to cleaning equipment inside the patient room.
Unfortunately, patients acquire about 1.7 million infections in U.S. hospitals every year. As a result, there is an increasing need to apply strategies for infection prevention.
One strategy, for example, stems from the fact that sicker patients require more equipment. At the very least, an IV pole and pump should be standard equipment in every patient room—and cleaned there, too.
The traditional equipment cleaning process includes pushing it throughout the hospital to another department for cleaning. This means that a potentially contaminated item could be moving throughout the hospital. This isn’t a good idea.
Hospital staff already clean the patient’s bed, overbed table, bedside stand, and family furniture in the patient room. Adding equipment to the list would remove several steps from the equipment cleaning process. It also would improve operational savings and infection prevention rates.
Keeping and cleaning equipment in the patient room would significantly reduce staff travel distances, too, and eliminate hunting and gathering. And, it would allow nurses more time for their primary passion–taking care of their patients.