Hand hygiene is the primary measure identified to be influential and practical in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other pathogens that have developed resistance to their respective anti-microbial agent.
According to WHO, about 50% of healthcare-associated infections occur due to poor hand hygiene practices of healthcare providers.
These infections are alarming threats to the global health care system, however, most of these HAIs are fortunately preventable according to reports by the WHO :
1. Hand hygiene:
Hand hygiene should be the cornerstone of reducing hospital-acquired infections because clean hands can prevent transmission of the lethal microbes such as covid-19. Washing your hands for 20-40 seconds with soap and water or sanitizing with alcohol-based sanitizer before and after attending a particular patient is necessary to avoid HAIs.
2. Handle the medical equipment sanitized:
All surgical instruments should be autoclaved and properly sanitized before and after any procedure.
3. Implementation of an infection control policy:
There should be a detailed and comprehensive infection control policy to deal with any kind of mismanagement during infection control. There should be a well-devised hospital rating system to scrutinize and rank patients according to the magnitude of risk of spreading any specific infection.
4. Deliver infection control education:
There should be regular staff meetings, visual conferences, symposiums, training workshops, and interactive seminars where discussions about hospital infection control should be carried out.
5. Use of gloves, PPEs, and masks:
Healthcare providers should always wear gloves after sterilizing their hands to halt the transmission of infections. In case of contact with blood or any bodily fluid, gloves should be worn strictly.
6. Disinfect and sterilize surfaces:
Every room and corridor should be cleaned and sterilized thoroughly at regular intervals.
7. Educate patients:
Patients should be educated about hand hygiene and personal hygiene to minimize the risk of infections.
8. Antibiotic stewardship :
Most antibiotic stewardship activities affect multiple organisms at once and their primary objective is the prevention of the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Thus, ASPs can primarily be regarded in the context of horizontal infection prevention. Additionally, ASPs can help to the prevention of surgical site infections through the optimized use of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis.
9. Hospital rating system:
It is a well-understood fact that hospital rating systems and surveillance systems make sure the evaluation of the burden of HAIs and AMR play a vital role in the early identification of HAIs including the determination of infection outbreaks.
Surveillance systems for HAIs are an important element of both national and facility infection prevention and control programs.
National surveillance systems should be crucial to a public health system. However, existing data on the global situational analysis of AMR, showed that many regions reported poor laboratory accommodation, infrastructure, and data management as obstacles to surveillance.