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Doing more to protect our healthcare workers from infection

We talk a lot about safety at Wilhelm. Our innovative suite of healthcare solutions are designed to make the job for those looking after us safer, easier.  Whether it be reducing the incidence of manual handling injuries with our Patient Lift Pendants (PLP); protecting interventionalists and their teams from potentially harmful radiation with Rampart; and/ or reducing the risk of harmful bacteria and infections with AirFRAMEIndigo-Clean and Surfacide, technology is delivering significantly safer environments for both clinicians and patients. 

Whilst the demands on our healthcare workers are arguably greater for most in living memory with the advent of issues like the pandemic, staff shortages and underinvestment, we have to ask ourselves, are we doing enough?

The impact to our hospital system has become part of our daily news cycle. In April 2022, Victoria’s peak public hospital body has warned elective surgeries could be wound back if demand for emergency care spikes during a predicted surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks. And in NSW, our health authorities are preparing for a simultaneous surge in COVID-19 and flu cases before winter, intensifying pressure on hospitals hit by crippling staff shortages and a huge elective surgery backlog. 

Whilst the reason for many of these staff shortages are due to healthcare workers caring for children affected by COVID, many are a direct result of healthcare workers contracting COVID in the workplace. 

The UK Royal College of Physicians, Clinical Medicine Journal, ‘The effects of COVID-19 on sickness of medical staff across departments: A single centre experience’ reported that COVID-19 posed unique challenges, both due to the impact it has on health systems and the degree of personal risk it places on those who work in healthcare, with confirmed cases in healthcare workers reaching as high as 26% in the earlier days of the pandemic.

In the World Health Organisations release ‘Keep health workers safe to keep patients safe: WHO’ , they recommend to ‘Establish synergies between health worker safety and patient safety policies and strategies – to develop linkages between occupational health and safety, patient safety, quality improvement and infection prevention and control programmes’.

It’s worthwhile considering the role that infection prevention and control technology can play in reducing the risk for healthcare workers, reducing their exposure to bacteria and infection and potentially reducing the impact that staff shortages are having on a stretched hospital system. 

Continuous visible light disinfection, Indigo-Clean is being introduced into hospitals, such as the ACTs Canberra Hospital , to provide a safer work environment. Indigo-Clean is effective at killing SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing Covid 19), influenza A, MRSA and a list of pathogens that negatively impact health and wellness.

Leading New Zealand healthcare provider Evolution has a adopted a range of infection prevention and control technology solutions in its hospitals, as has Nexus Hospitals in its Vermont and Orange Private hospitals. 

It would be hard to imagine a few years ago that you could have technology to enable you to work in any environment and have safe, continuous, visible light disinfection, delivering an 85% reduction in bacteria and a 94% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 – the virus causing Covid 19. Indigo-Clean makes that possible today. 

With so much technology available to help protect some of the most valuable members of our community and such slow uptake with much of our hospital system, it begs the question – are we doing enough to protect our healthcare workers from infection?

To find out how easily products like Indigo-Clean can be implemented in your facility, talk to us.