Hospitals are very important to society. They complement and enhance the effectiveness of the health system. They are open 24/7 and provide non-stop services for complex and acute conditions. In other words, hospitals are made up of a complex environment where different people including patients and staff interact with each other.
Many professionals agree that a healthy environment in the hospital is crucial for the patients. As a matter of fact, a healthy environment both internally and externally is important. A healthy environment can result in good hygiene, which makes sure that patients do not catch harmful diseases. There are various internal factors that have a huge impact on maintaining a healthy environment in the hospital. Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep the hospital environment healthy:
The most obvious way in keeping the environment healthy is by cleaning the hospital curtains. Every patient showers in the hospital shower and each patient carries a certain kind of germ with them. These germs or pathogens are stuck in the shower curtains. If these shower curtains are not cleaned on a regular basis, the infection will spread out when someone else enters the hospital bathroom, which can prevent the hospital from keeping a healthy environment.
Overall cleanliness of all areas
A recent study shows that patients admitted in cluttered rooms suffered from higher levels of anxiety compared to the patients admitted in clean rooms. Hence, it is quite essential for hospitals to not only clean their curtains, floors, and unkempt bathrooms but also replace them with new ones in case they are cluttered. Hospitals are required to meet patient’s needs especially if it is a private one. Nevertheless, the professionals should look at the hospital from the patient’s perspective and make necessary changes.
Good waste management
Having a good waste management system is essential in maintaining a healthy environment in the hospital. A recent study shows that wastage produced by hospitals is 80 percent general waste and the other 20 percent is hazardous waste. There are many different kinds of hazardous waste like an infectious waste, pathological waste, chemicals and radioactive waste. It is essential for hospitals to consider some of the questions including but not limited to how the waste should be collected? At what time it should be collected? At what temperature? And how should it be disposed, if they won’t succeed in keeping the hospital environment healthy?
Noise prevention methods
Noise literally means unwanted sound. There are many ways in which noise is produced in the hospital such as alarms, telephones, paging systems, delivery carts, televisions, computer prints, housekeeping activities, sounding, and air conditioning systems. Professionals suggest that the noise level in a hospital should not go above a certain level. However, usually, most of the hospitals exceed that level of noise. This much noise can create stress for the hospital staff as well as the patients, which is not very healthy. In order to overcome this problem, the hospital should carry out some noise prevention procedures like reducing the patient exposure to the noise, keeping a regular check on all the systems. Another way to keep the environment healthy in the hospital is by using different alarms, training newly hired hospital staff so they can work producing minimal noise, or make circulation paths for staff and patients.
Infection control methods
Controlling the infection is another great way to maintain a healthy environment in a hospital. Hospitals control the spread of these germs by identifying the means of growth and the means of reproduction. In order to keep a healthy environment, hospitals should implement an infection control policy as well as start an infection control program. Hospitals should use personnel protective equipment for each patient when handling blood or any secretion. The staff should wash their hands before and after touching the equipment. Some of the hospitals also give educations and training regarding infection control methods.
Radiation safety methods
Exposure to radiation is not so healthy and is very harmful. Although the awareness of radiation exposure has increased in the past few years, still no one monitors it over a certain patient’s lifetime. There are so many ways to minimize the radiation, a patient is exposed to in a hospital. The hospital needs to make sure that their patient is exposed to the radiation for a short period of time and make sure that there is a lot of distance between the patient and the source of radiation. It is advisable to stop using stuff altogether that gives off nonionizing radiation as it is the greatest health hazard of all.
General building safety
Hospitals that are constructed well are considered as healthy as the bad infrastructure of some hospitals may pose hazards to the hospital staff and patients. Incidents and accidents are a lot more common in hospitals due to bad physical structure than you think. Although, these accidents can be prevented by methods like making sure that the floor is clean, dry, slip-resistant, and unobstructed. In hospitals, gas cylinders are considered an important part of the physical structure since medical gases are essential in patients’ treatment. These gases are quite harmful, hence, should be handled with care. It is advisable to even secure all the cylinders within enclosures and protect them from extreme temperatures.
Water is a basic and important utility in hospitals. Since water is obtained from different sources, it may be infected and harmful. In order to maintain a healthy environment, hospitals are required to clean the storage water tanks on a regular basis. They are also required to do a chemical analysis of water before using it. A complete analysis includes deionization, sterilization, and distillation of water. After using the water, it is discharged into the sewerage. However, it is essential for hospitals to treat the wastewater as much as they can as that water carries different kinds of hazardous chemicals and pollutants.
The main and sole purpose of an HVAC system is to maintain certain temperatures and environmental conditions such as heating and cooling. These systems are designed to provide a certain value of temperature, humidity, and air frequency. For instance, areas like operating rooms have special ventilation systems with the help of filtration systems. HVAC system helps hospitals maintain a healthy environment by cleaning the atmosphere, which reduces the risk of gas explosions and airborne infection.
Communicate information to the patients
Last but not the least, communicating properly with the patients is also one of the simplest yet effective ways to maintain a healthy environment in a hospital. Being healthy does not necessarily mean a healthy body but a healthy mind too. When patients admit to a certain hospital, they put their absolute trust in them. It is the job of the hospital to answer all their questions and relax them from their concerns. Making the patients comfortable can also passively increase the pace of their recovery. In order to make this happen, hospitals will need to give training regarding this matter and educate the existing staff or hire new ones.
The final word
Keeping a healthy environment in a hospital is an obligation. Every patient looks for this quality in hospitals since a healthy environment is perceived as a safe environment. Hence, it is the responsibility of every hospital to try its best in maintaining a healthy environment. And the best way to do that is by implementing what you read in this article.